Sandro Tonali ban could be bad news for Liverpool as Newcastle 'go after' £48m-rated star

Liverpool could reportedly be set to rival Newcastle in the January transfer window if the Magpies decide to go after one of Jurgen Klopp's midfield targets. Eddie Howe is thought to be in the market to replace Sandro Tonali, who is suspended until August after admitting placing bets on football matches while playing for AC Milan and Brescia.

A handful of players have already been linked with the Magpies, including the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Conor Gallagher and Ruben Neves. It seems as though Atalanta midfielder Teun Koopmeiners may be another name on Newcastle's list of targets, but the 25-year-old is also said to be admired by Liverpool.

Koopmeiners has already been scouted by Newcastle, according to Tuttomercatoweb, with the Tyneside club thought to be mulling over a January move for his services. They would ideally want to sign a midfielder on loan, possibly with an option to buy, although the report adds that Atalanta would only be willing to do business for around £48million.

Newcastle are unlikely to be keen on paying that kind of money and may reportedly try to tempt Atalanta with a loan-to-buy deal in January. However, this approach would risk allowing Liverpool to sign Koopmeiners for themselves if they are prepared to stump up the required fee.

The Reds have been credited with an interest in Koopmeiners for quite some time, with Tutto Atalanta claiming that his representatives were approached back in January. Corriere dello Sport then reported in May that Liverpool had made an opening bid for the Dutchman, but nothing came to fruition and he ended up staying in Italy.

Liverpool went on to sign four new midfielders during the summer, which suggests that a move for Koopmeiners may no longer be in their plans. This could open the door for Newcastle to strike at the turn of the year, although it will come down to how much they are willing to pay in exchange for his signature.

There are plenty of other options on the table for the Magpies, with many reports suggesting that Neves could be a target for them despite the Portuguese midfielder only joining Al-Hilal earlier this year. Both clubs are owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which could help to smooth over negotiations when the bidding opens in January.

Gallagher has also been tentatively linked with a move to Newcastle but Mauricio Pochettino may be inclined to keep him at Stamford Bridge after handing him a starring role within the Chelsea team. Phillips, meanwhile, is thought to be another target after failing to break into the Manchester City side over the last two seasons


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