Eddie Howe responds strongly to claims that Sandro Tonali doesn’t want to be at Newcastle

Image Credit: Getty

Eddie Howe has expressed his strong dissatisfaction with reports that suggest Sandro Tonali does not wish to be a part of Newcastle United following his significant transfer this summer.

Tonali made a move to Newcastle from AC Milan for a fee of £55 million, and he marked his debut against Rangers on Tuesday.

During the match, he delivered an outstanding performance in the midfield, contributing to his team’s opening goal against the Scottish side.

These reports from Italy claiming that the talented midfielder has no desire to be at the club and was unwillingly brought onto the plane that transported him to the North of England have emerged, but Howe vehemently disagrees with such claims.

But Howe has fired back at those claims and is adamant the 23-year-old wants to be at St. James’ Park ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

“I think that’s (the Italian reports) totally misguided,” said the 45-year-old following his side’s 2-1 at Ibrox. “Sandro is very, very proud to be here, and proud to wear the shirt and represent the club.

“That was made very clear to me very early, otherwise we wouldn’t have committed to the transfer. We don’t have any kind of desire to drag anyone to Newcastle – they have to want to run there with no shoes on.

“That’s the mentality we want because you have to have that togetherness, spirit and desire to do well. That can only come from a desire to play for the club.”

Sandro Tonali in action for Newcastle United. Image: Getty

Tonali made a great impression as he completed 45 minutes on his first start for his new club and impressed the Magpies boss.

“I was very impressed with Sandro,” added Howe. “I thought he was excellent. Everything we hoped he would bring, he did in that first 45 minutes.

“He was very calm and composed, and technically, he was at a very high level. He built good relationships with the players around him, and looked at home in a black-and-white shirt. It was a great start for him.

“We had a quick nod and a smile after the game. I think you could see he was enjoying himself by his body language and how he plays.

“He looked like he was enjoying himself, certainly with some of the players around him, in that first half.

“I’d be surprised if he didn’t enjoy playing that type of football, with the players that he’s with. There was a really attractive style, I thought we moved the ball really well, and he was pivotal to that.”

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