In the aftermath of a significant setback with their £55million midfielder Sandro Tonali receiving a ten-month suspension due to betting on matches, Newcastle United is on the hunt for a January replacement.
The top contender? Ruben Neves from the Saudi Pro League, according to The Sun.
23-year-old Tonali, having admitted to betting while with Brescia and AC Milan, is slated for rehabilitation. With this void in their midfield, Eddie Howe’s squad has set sights on Al-Hilal star Ruben Neves and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips.
Having made a recent switch from Wolves to Al-Hilal this summer, the 26-year-old Neves is now poised for another potential move.
Intriguingly, both Newcastle and Al-Hilal are under the ownership of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, positioning Neves as an ideal loan candidate for the Magpies.
Tonali’s proactive cooperation and admission in the Italian FA’s probe substantially reduced his initial possible three-year ban. Part of his penance involves 16 public engagements at clubs and charities focusing on battling gambling addiction.
The betting scandal further ensnares footballers Nicolo Zaniolo and Nicolo Fagioli, with the latter recently receiving a seven-month ban.