Sandro Tonali has 'high chance' of playing against Wolves despite ban

Newcastle midfielder was handed 10-month ban by Italian authorities for breaching betting rules

Newcastle United's Sandro Tonali could play this weekend. Reuters
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Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said there is a "high chance" that Sandro Tonali could be involved in Saturday's Premier League clash against Wolves despite being handed a 10-month ban by Italian authorities for breaching betting rules.

The Italian football federation announced on Thursday the 23-year-old midfielder had been suspended until next season following an investigation, although the sanction is yet to be ratified by governing bodies Uefa and Fifa.

The ban had seemingly ruled Tonali, who joined Newcastle from AC Milan in July for around £55 million, out of the rest of the Premier League season as well as next year’s European Championship should Italy qualify.

Asked for his views on the ban on Friday, Howe said: "It's a difficult one because we haven't had official confirmation as a football club yet.

"So we've heard the news, the speculation, statement, but we haven't had anything from the Italian authorities at the moment so we're sort of in limbo really, waiting for that official confirmation to come through."

Howe said Tonali could feature at Molineux on Saturday.

"There's a high chance again he could be available for us," he said. "I think there's a few things that have to happen before the ban is imposed, so we'll see."

The ban is not the only thing on Howe's mind. Tonali came on as a substitute in Newcastle's 1-0 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The defeat was made worse by injuries to forwards Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy, who will miss the Wolves match.

"Very different injuries, Alex is a groin which we don't think is serious but it's a recurrence of the groin injury he suffered playing for Sweden so we need to assess that," Howe said.

"Jacob's is totally different it's dislocation of his shoulder. It's not clear what we're going to do and I think he's going to see a specialist today. You can play with these injuries or the other side is he needs an operation and he'll be out for some time."

Updated: October 27, 2023, 12:01 PM