Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali could face a lengthy playing ban after it was reported he has admitted to breaching betting rules.
Tonali, signed by Newcastle from AC Milan for £55million in July, is being investigated by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and Italian Football Federation “in relation to illegal betting activity”.
The 23-year-old was one of several players named in an Italian football betting probe last week and, on Tuesday, Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was given a seven-month suspension by the FIGC for breaching betting rules.
Newcastle confirmed in a statement on Wednesday the player was being investigated.
The club said: “Newcastle United can confirm that Sandro Tonali is subject to investigation by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in relation to illegal betting activity.
“Sandro is fully engaging with the investigation and will continue to cooperate with all relevant authorities.
“He and his family will continue to receive the club’s full support.
“Due to this ongoing process, Sandro and Newcastle United are unable to offer further comment at this time.”
Tonali scored in the Magpies’ opening-day 5-1 home win against Aston Villa and has made six further Premier League appearances.
It has been reported that Tonali admitted at a hearing on Tuesday to betting on matches involving his former club Milan.
Tonali and Aston Villa forward Nicolo Zaniolo, on loan from Galatasaray, last week returned to their clubs from Italy’s training camp after it emerged they were being investigated.
Tonali’s agent Giuseppe Riso says the player has a gambling addiction and is fighting the biggest battle of his life.
In an interview with the Times, Riso said: “Sandro is shocked. I hope this experience will help save his life and also the lives of others with his same addictions, including all those young people who are starting to struggle with this addiction.
“Sandro is playing the most important game of his life, against gambling addiction. He won a lot of big games in his life and I’m sure he’ll win this one too.”
Italy team-mate Fagioli was given a seven-month ban on Tuesday by the FIGC for breaching betting rules.
He had five months of a one-year ban suspended and was fined 12,500 euros (£10,848), while he agreed to a therapy plan of at least six months to tackle his gambling problem, the FIGC announced.
Published: by Radio NewsHub