Much debate was sparked over the recent news regarding Sandro Tonali’s gambling addiction, with different levels of punishment rumoured.
In the past few days it was confirmed that the midfielder would serve a 10-month suspension from football, which would result in the Italian missing the entirety of Newcastle’s campaign, as well as EURO 2024.
However, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has revealed that the club still haven’t received official confirmation of the ban, from the Italian football federation (FIGC).
Speaking in his pre-match press conference earlier today, Howe said: “We haven’t had official confirmation as a football club yet. We’ve heard the news, the speculation, but we haven’t had anything from the Italian authorities; we are in limbo waiting for confirmation to come through.
“There is a high chance he could be available tomorrow. There are still a few things that have to happen for the ban to be imposed.
“You saw from the Dortmund game he did very well. He’s been bright and he’s trained. The only way I can judge him is on that. He’s been good around the group and the training ground. From how I can see, he’s handling himself in the right way.”
Eddie Howe confirms Sandro Tonali could be available for Newcastle against Wolves as ban yet to be fully ratified. 🚨 pic.twitter.com/Hzb3xBp9As
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 27, 2023
With immense controversy surrounding the club, through no fault of their own, Howe is looking to focus on football and put the betting breach behind them.
“I’m slightly removed from everything because I’m focused on training and game preparation. Then you come back to hear another piece of news,” said the manager.
“I’ve mentally accepted the situation that I’m not going to know what’s going on. I’ll probably hear it further down the line. I’ve made peace with the fact that I’ll be without Sandro for a long time.”
In more positive news, Joe Willock is back available for selection and looked sharp on his return midweek. Willock picked up a hamstring injury during the Magpies 4-1 win over Brighton last season, missing all of pre-season.
Despite nearly six months of absence, the 24-year-old is ready to help his team in a timely return given Tonali’s impending ban.
“He never went a day where he didn’t ask how I was mentally” 🤗
Joe Willock says Eddie Howe showed him huge support during his recovery from injury 🤝❤️️pic.twitter.com/BEHXd3mFll
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 26, 2023
When asked about Willock in his pre-match press conference, Howe said: “Huge for us, it has been a long time.
“Joe is an infectious character, very popular around the training ground. He has the goalscoring and running capabilities that suit our style.
“It’s early days but hopefully he can get that match sharpness back.”