In a story published by The Guardian on Friday, Nov. 3, it's been reported that Newcastle United's director of football Dan Ashworth hasn't ruled out legal action against AC Milan following Sandro Tonali's 10-month ban for breaching Italian betting regulations.
Ashworth, who is overseeing an internal investigation, told the outlet, "From the minute it happened, you look at yourself... What lessons can be learned? Could we have known?" The director also acknowledged "He's a top player, and a big signing, we will miss him."
The key question revolves around whether Milan could have been aware of Tonali's gambling issues. The player's agent cites a gambling addiction and corrective therapy.
Ashworth is obviously refraining from confirming legal action at this point in the process, but emphasized introspection, stating, "You look at your processes. We pride ourselves on due diligence and getting the right characters." Read between the lines and you see what DA is trying to convey. Shady Milan business.
Tonali, who has accepted to take a significant pay cut during his ban, is training with Newcastle, confirmed Ashworth.
The director focused on the human aspect of the saga, saying, "Sandro's back in training, but first and foremost, he's a human being, and we have a program to support him. Sandro's been outstanding since this happened and fully collaborative. He's a top human being."
Despite Financial Fair Play restrictions, Ashworth aims to strengthen the squad in January following Tonali's long-term ban. He anticipates potential tightening of rules on loaning players from PIF-owned clubs in Saudi Arabia impacting NUFC's potential targets, such as Ruben Neves of Al-Hilal, who might be under consideration.
While the situation remains complex, Ashworth concluded, "[The ban] was a massive shock, a massive surprise. Dealing with it was new to all of us. It came from nowhere." The club awaits the outcome of the Italian police investigation into illegal betting while pondering whether to legally chase Milan or not.