Newcastle United are looking for replacements after Sandro Tonali was banned for 10 months due to gambling breaches during his time at former club AC Milan, TEAMtalk understands.
Tonali’s lawyers have met with the Italian authorities and a ban until August 2024 has been agreed. It has left Eddie Howe in need of a midfielder as his star signing will be a huge loss in the club’s bid to retain their place in the Premier League’s top four and qualify for the latter stages of the Champions League.
The recruitment team, led by sporting director Dan Ashworth, have drawn up a list of potential targets and will be making a move to add midfield depth in the January window. Groundwork has been done on several names to establish the best deal for the Magpies.
Kalvin Phillips is a strong target and there have been conversations held about a potential deal to bring the England international to St. James’ Park in the coming months. A permanent transfer is possible, but TEAMtalk sources are also stating a loan could be done until the end of the current campaign.
Another player who is highly admired by Howe and his recruitment staff is Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay. The Scotland international has been a player that Newcastle have spoken about previously and strongly considered moving for in the summer.
There were no moves made for him, however, due to Man Utd being slow in bringing in their own reinforcements and a deal for Sofyan Amrabat not being completed until the end of the window.
West Ham had an offer understood to be in the region of £35million – including add-ons – rejected for the 26-year-old as his employers were keen to hold onto him for depth within the squad.
Newcastle boss Howe an admirer of Scott McTominay
That sentiment has not changed much as the winter window approaches but an offer of £40m up front could make Man Utd chiefs think differently.
Eddie Howe is a big fan of McTominay, TEAMtalk understands, and the opportunity to bring him in would be something that Newcastle would take very seriously. Sources claim his mentality and attributes are exactly what the Newcastle manager would like to bring into his side.
Despite Erik ten Hag getting his preferred target in Amrabat, and the club adding extra numbers to the midfield, McTominay has been called upon on multiple occasions to help the Red Devils this season due to injuries and poor performances that have seen Man Utd slip behind in the race for the top four.
As a Man Utd fan and an academy product, the belief is that he would prefer to stay at his boyhood club rather than move to a Premier League rival.