After Eddie Howe had addressed the media for his usual Friday morning Press conference, the room was cleared and sporting director Dan Ashworth emerged to answer questions on Sandro Tonali’s global ban.
In a 47-minute briefing, Ashworth was asked a host of questions about the player’s short-term and long-term future. Here’s the answers to the key questions.
Will Sandro Tonali’s wages be cut during his 10-month global ban?
Dan Ashworth replied: “Any player’s contract situation is private and confidential. All I can say is that Sandro has been outstanding since this has happened and has been fully collaborative.
“He’s been an outstanding professional in that context. Beyond that, I cannot comment because its private and confidential.”
Did Tonali apologise to the club over involvement in betting?
Ashworth said: “Sandro is a top human being and this is a difficult situation for him to deal with. He feels that he’s let himself down and any player who is missing for a prolonged period of time feels bad about it. Sometimes there is nothing you can do in case of an injury, but I have to reiterate he has been a top class individual and professional about this.”
Has Tonali breached his Newcastle United contract?
Ashworth said: “You could look at it like that. Within the contract there is always an amount of flexibility within that. It depends how they react when they break a rule etc. As a club, we go back to how well Sandro has reacted and acted since it came to the fore.”
Will you be going down the legal route with AC Milan?
The club could not comment.
Would you have signed Tonali had you known this was on the horizon?
Ashworth said: “I think if you know a player’s going to be out for 10 months whether that’s through a medical injury or through something like this, you’d either have to look at the deal again or structure the deal in a different manner. But as a player, from the performances of the player and the character and personality, no reservations.”
Can Tonali play in friendly games or in a game in Saudi Arabia in mid-season?
Ashworth said: “That’s one of the things we don’t know yet and we are unravelling. We know he can join in full training, friendly games we don’t know what that looks like.”
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