Newcastle have ideal Sandro Tonali replacement who won't cost them a penny if he joins squad in January
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Eddie Howe may have the ideal candidate to replace Sandro Tonali if the Newcastle midfielder receives a ban for his alleged involvement in an illegal betting scandal.
Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli has already been banned for 12 months - five months of which are suspended - as part of the same investigation for breaching betting regulations.
Tonali came off the bench during Newcastle's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, and looked emotional as he led the squad on a lap of applause after full-time.
Reports have since claimed that the midfielder is expected to be handed a 10-month ban, which will see him miss the rest of the Premier League campaign.
But should he be banned, Newcastle may have a ready-made replacement in the shape of Isaac Hayden, who is currently excelling on loan at Standard Liege.
The 28-year-old joined the Magpies from Arsenal back in 2016 and has gone on to make 171 appearances for the club.
The arrival of Howe saw Hayden's minutes reduced, with the Englishman sent out on loan to Norwich last season.
In September, the club confirmed he had joined Belgian side Standard Liege on loan, where he has helped turn the club's fortunes around.
Carl Hoefkens' side endured a dismal start to the season, picking up just three points from a possible eighteen in their opening six matches.
However, since Hayden came into the starting XI, Standard Liege have been unbeaten, winning four of their last five matches to put them back in contention for the European places.
It remains to be seen whether Howe would consider recalling Hayden to St James' Park as cover for Tonali in January, or if he would prefer to scour the transfer market for potential alternatives.
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