AC Milan try to rebuild relations with Newcastle United after 'ugly' Sandro Tonali affair

Newcastle United still have an open line of communication to AC Milan - despite the Sandro Tonali affair in 2023.

Within months of Tonali getting his feet under the table at St James' Park, Newcastle were shocked to discover that the midfielder had long-term gambling addiction issues. This led to initial anger from the Magpies to begin with as they found out Tonali was to be served a 10-month ban for illegal betting and they would be the club that have to rehabilitate the 24-year-old following the "ugly" episode in Newcastle's history books.

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However, this week has seen Newcastle communicate with the Serie A side on a number of possible summer deals. Milan have been in contact with the club via intermediaries on potential swap deals and sales.

Despite talk earlier this month that Tonali could even feature in a swap deal for Fikayo Tomori, the classy former Chelsea centre-back, this was never stood up by Newcastle although insiders at the San Siro suggested the door would always be ajar for Tonali if the deal was right.

A Milan insider told Chronicle Live: "Milan still love Sandro a lot"

For Newcastle, the deal won't be close to being right unless they get the transfer fee they paid for Tonali back of around £55m. And the current plan is to ease Tonali back into action in the Premier League before considering a sale.

One source at St James' Park stated this was not the time to be thinking of a Tonali exit given his recent problems and he needs time and space to rebuild his reputation, something Eddie Howe is prepared to do this summer.

Another deal pitched during conversations this week between the Italian side and Newcastle was a possible swap involving Malick Thiaw and Kieran Trippier. Germany defender Thiaw is represented by the USG agency that United have worked with both pre and post takeover but for now those conversations have remained private.

Trippier's future remains unclear and even after the June 30 PSR health check deadline, there is a chance Newcastle will be open to offers for the England full-back. What is clear is that Newcastle have not shut down their relationship with Milan and that could be a smart move if Tonali fails to settle on Tyneside this season leaving the scene open for a possible sale or further trading with the Serie A side.