How Newcastle could line up with Kalvin Phillips after January transfer window as Toon prepare for life without Tonali | The Sun

NEWCASTLE are reportedly lining up a January swoop for Manchester City outcast Kalvin Phillips.

The Toon are keen to bolster their midfield ranks with Sandro Tonali. potentially facing a ban for betting.

The Italian is being investigated by authorities in his home country over alleged illegal betting, including on old club AC Milan while there.

In Italy players can receive gambling bans of up to three years, which can increase to five if they have bet on their own team's games.

Reports in Italy claim that Tonali has confessed to placing bets on Milan games while there.

Admitting the offence could halve a potential ban, while working with authorities may reduce it further.



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But if found guilty, Tonali could still be in line for a longer ban than the seven months received by Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli.

The 23-year-old remains in contention to play for the Toon this weekend, when they host Crystal Palace.

But should he receive a ban in the coming weeks, Newcastle could turn to Phillips to bolster their midfield ranks.

In the Toon's brilliant recent 4-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain, Tonali played on the right of a midfield three alongside Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff.

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Club chiefs may hope that Phillips could fulfil a similar role within their 4-3-3 system.

The 27-year-old impressed in Leeds' high-octane game under Marcelo Bielsa, but has failed to make an impact at City.

Despite Rodri's recent ban, Phillips has failed to start a Premier League game this season, making three substitute appearances.

He has continued to be selected by England boss Gareth Southgate, but Phillips is well aware that he needs to start playing more regularly at club level.

The Yorkshireman recently reflected: "I know that I need to be playing games and competing every weekend.

"I’m going to have to make a decision over the next months. I’m very competitive but I want to play football."

Phillips could fit in well in Newcastle's XI alongside fellow England internationals Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope, with Callum Wilson in reserve behind Alexander Isak.

While Anthony Gordon, Dan Burn and Longstaff may be pushing for senior call-ups.

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Boss Eddie Howe will soon hope to have Sven Botman back to partner Fabian Schar at the heart of his defence.

While Miguel Almiron has been in red-hot form alongside Isak and Gordon in the Toon's front three.

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