Newcastle consider loan move for Man City outcast Kalvin Phillips with Sandro Tonali facing ban

Newcastle United will investigate loan signings to plug the gap left by Sandro Tonali, with reviving long-standing interest in Manchester City‘s Kalvin Phillips one of the January options the club will consider.

As i reported earlier this month, Newcastle had planned for a quiet January ahead of some bold moves into the market in the summer of 2024, a period which will see transfer funds bolstered by Champions League prize money and ballooning commercial revenue.

A source told i that Financial Fair Play wiggle room will have “really improved” by then if the club’s ambitious sponsorship targets are met.

But the Tonali situation undoubtedly leaves them light in midfield, an area in which Eddie Howe places unique demands on his players, and the club believe cover will be required in the second part of the season.

Newcastle supporters rallied around Tonali at the end of the magnificent defeat of Crystal Palace, illustrating their solidarity with a player that Howe says is a central part of the club’s long-term plans.

They have pledged to support him with his gambling issues and there is no acrimony towards the player from the club, despite the looming suspension and the significant impact it will have on this season’s plans.

On Friday Howe namechecked Elliot Anderson, their talented academy graduate who is being targeted for international honours by Scotland and England, as a potential alternative.

He also suggested the rise of 17-year-old Lewis Miley, currently recuperating from a bout of glandular fever and a fortnight away from resuming full training, offers the club another midfield option.

But there is a recognition inside the club that a redrawing of recruitment plans is going to be necessary – especially if Newcastle progress into the latter stages of the Champions League.

They play Borussia Dortmund at St James’ Park this week and then face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup fourth round after a weekend trip to Wolves, three games in a week that will stretch a squad already impacted by injuries this season.

A loan move for Phillips – if City would be open to it – would appear to work for all parties. The financial ramifications of such a move would be complicated with Phillips’ wages potentially breaking Newcastle’s wage structure but the club have made previous approaches for the England midfielder and he is open to a move, having been unable to force his way into Pep Guardiola‘s plans.

A short-term loan switch until the end of the season would protect his chances of making the Euro 2024 squad while also aiding Newcastle. Whether City would be prepared to sanction a transfer that would potentially strengthen a rival is another complication, with Newcastle having found Premier League rivals reluctant to deal with them in past windows.

Officials talked openly of a so-called “Newcastle tax” in the Amazon documentary which followed their fortunes last season.

While a loan move would make most sense given the FFP constraints Newcastle are operating in, Everton’s Amadou Onana is another midfielder they have monitored. The Toffees expected interest in the Belgium international in the summer and were prepared to deal at the right price – but no bids arrived. Their precarious financial situation may force them to listen to offers again in January.

Of the other possible short-term options, Tottenham Hotspur‘s versatile Eric Dier, a target for Roma, is available with his contract expiring at the end of the season. Although primarily a centre-back, he can play as a defensive midfielder.

Long-term, the club insist Tonali is “the future”. By supporting him as he faces a lengthy suspension, they proving as good as their word.

Tonali expects to hear about the length of his possible suspension early this week, with his lawyers meeting prosecutors in Italy on Monday. A fast-track resolution is being sought to a matter which is undoubtedly a complication for Howe.

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