Newcastle United are set to look at an initial loan move to cover suspended Sandro Tonali amid ongoing Financial Fair Play concerns, 90min understands.
Newcastle invested heavily again this summer, spending almost £150m on new players. But their most recent signing was Chelsea’s Lewis Hall, who joined on an initial loan for a permanent transfer in 2024 because the club felt they had so little leeway in their FFP calculations.
90min have been told that Newcastle are now looking at an FFP shortfall of around £40m going into 2024 and while that won’t stop them from spending in January, it could affect business.
Heading into the winter, 90min understands Newcastle have areas of the squad they want to invest in. But the need to cover the currently suspended Tonali, ironically their most expensive summer signing, is prompting a possible rethink. The Italian midfielder will not feature until August after being handed a ten-month ban for his part in an illegal betting scandal at home.
Centre-back, second striker and ‘number 10’ are understood to be among the positions Newcastle are looking at. But a new deep-lying midfielder is now top of their transfer wish list.
Sources have confirmed to 90min that they are already working on options for a Tonali replacement. One of them, as 90min revealed earlier this month, is Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips. His camp have fielded inquiries from several clubs, with City making it clear he is not in their long-term plans less than 18 months after his £45m transfer. Newcastle are among those interested, with Phillips potentially on loan making him particularly attractive to the Magpies.
Kalvin Phillips is on Newcastle’s radar / Visionhaus/GettyImages
Apart from Phillips, Newcastle also have a list of other options remaining from the summer. This included the likes of Manchester United’s Scott McTominay, although 90min have reported that the Scottish star is in no rush to leave Old Trafford. Even if he was, a potential price tag of close to £40m is not something Newcastle would consider.
However, another route the club is actively considering is a foreign loan, possibly through the Saudi Pro League. Newcastle’s majority owners are the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and links between the North East club and others within their portfolio were always something they hoped to exploit. Tonali’s suspension just means it could happen sooner than expected.
PIF also has controlling stakes in four of Saudi Arabia’s biggest clubs: Al Hilal, Al Nassr, Al Ittihad and Al Ahli, investing heavily in the quartet. Between them they now boast some of the biggest names in world football. They also have some big midfielders who, in theory, could easily replace Tonali.
Former Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves – now at Al Hilal – is a player Newcastle looked at before leaving England and could be considered for a return to the Premier League. Apart from Neves, there is also another former Toon target in the form of Spanish youngster Gabri Veiga at Al Ahli.
There are numerous other candidates who could potentially come in such as former Chelsea star N’Golo Kante, Sergej Milinlkovic-Savic, Marcelo Brozovic and Otavio – but Newcastle now have a few months to focus and work on their options for the January transfer window.
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