Nicolo Zaniolo and Sandro Tonali: Everything we know about Aston Villa and Newcastle United stars’ probe

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The Aston Villa and Newcastle United midfielders have left Italy’s training camp with immediate effect as an investigation is launched.

Aston Villa star Nicolo Zaniolo has left Italy's international training camp after being told he is involved in an investigation by Italian prosecutors.

The Euro 2020 winners play Malta on Saturday night followed by a meeting with England on Tuesday in a pair of Euro 2024 qualifying fixtures during the international break. Newcastle United star and marquee summer signing Sandro Tonali has also left the The Azzurri squad as he too is involved in the investigation.

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Italy currently sit second in the qualifying Group C, six points behind England, but with a game in hand and a meeting with Gareth Southgate's men next week.

Here's all we know about the situation and what it might mean for the Premier League stars so far.

What are Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo under investigation for?

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has said the two players were not in the right 'condition' to take part in this week's matches but has not specified what the investigation is about. Italian news agency ANSA reports that it is linked to an illegal betting probe.

Zaniolo and Tonali's departure from training came comes just a day after FIGC prosecutors announced an investigation into 22-year-old Juventus midfielder Niocolo Fagioli, which is also linked with illegal bets.

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24-year-old Zaniolo is on loan at Villa Park this season from Turkish club Galatasaray, where he moved from Roma earlier this year. Zaniolo has made 10 appearances for the Villains this term in a variety of attacking positions but is yet to complete a full 90 minutes in claret and blue.

What has been said about the Italian investigation into Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo?

A statement read: “The Federation announces that, in the late afternoon of today, the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office notified investigation documents to the players Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo, currently in training with the national team at the Federal Technical Center in Coverciano.

“Regardless of the nature of the acts, believing that in this situation the two players are not in the necessary condition to face the commitments scheduled in the next few days, the Federation has decided, also to protect them, to allow them to return to their respective clubs."

Nicolo Zaniolo and Sandro Tonali are under investigation (Image: Getty Images)Nicolo Zaniolo and Sandro Tonali are under investigation (Image: Getty Images)
Nicolo Zaniolo and Sandro Tonali are under investigation (Image: Getty Images)

What would a ban mean for Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo in the Premier League?

With the alleged incidents seeming to have taken place outside of the UK and the FA not involved in the situation, what implications any charge may have on Tonali and Zaniolo's club commitments remains to be seen.

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The Sun reports that the pair could be hit with 'lengthy bans' if betting allegations, which are in breach of Italian FA rules, are proven true. The governing body has even stricter rules than the FA for inappropriate betting behaviour with a potential three-year ban for players.

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