Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali under investigation for alleged betting offences

NEWCASTLE UNITED midfielder Sandro Tonali is being investigated by Italian police over his possible involvement in an ongoing betting scandal.

Both Tonali and Aston Villa midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo have been released from international duty with Italy, and will not be involved in Saturday’s Euros qualifier against Malta and next Tuesday’s game with England at Wembley.

It is understood that the Italian authorities interviewed both Tonali and Zaniolo at Italy’s Coverciano training camp near Florence earlier today.

The Italian media is reporting that the pair are both being investigated by the prosecutor in Turin, who is also involved in an ongoing investigation over possible betting offences involving Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli.

The Italian FA released a statement this evening confirming that an investigation involving Tonali and Zaniolo is under way, and also confirming that the pair will not be involved in either of Italy’s forthcoming qualifying games.

Report: Sandro Tonali could miss PSG clash | NUFC News

The statement said: “The Federation announces that, in the late afternoon of today, the public prosecutors office of Turin has notified investigative acts to footballers Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo, currently meeting with the national team at the Federal Technical Center of Coverciano.

“Regardless of the nature of the acts, considering that in this situation the two players are not in the necessary condition to face the commitments scheduled in the coming days, the Federation has decided, also to protect them, to allow them to return to their respective clubs.”

At this stage, the exact nature or potential seriousness of the alleged offences has not been disclosed. However, while the alleged offences are understood to have taken place during Tonali’s time in Italy as an AC Milan player, any ban imposed for breaching betting regulations would almost certainly be extended to all UEFA or FIFA-affiliated competitions, potentially affecting his ability to play for Newcastle.

Earlier this year, Brentford striker Ivan Toney was banned from all forms of football for eight months after admitting 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

Tonali became Newcastle’s club-record signing when he moved to Tyneside for around £55m earlier this summer.

The 23-year-old scored on his debut against Aston Vila on the opening weekend of the season, and has gone to make four more Premier League starts and two top-flight substitute appearances. He started both of Newcastle’s Champions League matches against AC Milan and Paris St Germain, as well as the Carabao Cup victory over Manchester City.

Zaniolo joined Aston Villa on loan from Galatasaray this summer, having previously played for Inter Milan and Roma.

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