Once Newcastle’s Champions League encounter with Borussia Dortmund is out of the way, it’s expected that Sandro Tonali will receive news about the length of his ban from the game.
The Italian will almost certainly be ruled out of the remainder of the 2023/24 season and also miss the European Championship were Italy to qualify.
In the space of a few months his Magpies career will have gone from the highest of highs with a debut goal, to the lowest point possible – with Newcastle effectively being punished for things Tonali allegedly did whilst still at Milan.
To coin a phrase it’s no use crying over spilt milk, and the north east giants need to quickly identify a replacement for Tonali who will be ready to join them at the earliest possible opportunity in the January transfer window.
The Athletic (subscription required) have drawn up a list of names for players that Eddie Howe and his backroom staff might consider, and one stands out above all others.
Man United’s Scott McTominay has enjoyed a mini renaissance at the club with his recent goalscoring exploits, but it’s doubtful that he remains in Erik ten Hag’s long-term plans at Old Trafford.
An experienced and hard working player that can operate as a number six or eight, the midfielder would give Howe desirable options and isn’t likely to break the bank – important as Newcastle try to navigate FFP.
Despite being back in favour at Man United at present, when everyone is fit and firing, it’s likely that McTominay will drop back to the bench, and therefore a move makes sense from the player’s perspective too.