Sandro Tonali, £68.5m And The Start Of Newcastle United's Spending Splurge

The Geordies are about to make their record signing...
18:00, 25 Jun 2023

Newcastle United’s arrival into the top four came way ahead of schedule. After just 18 months Eddie Howe has taken the Magpies from relegation strugglers to the Champions League, and while their spending had drastically increased - it was still an achievement made against the odds. 

Over the course of last season, Newcastle spent around £170m on new players. £63m of that went on Alexander Isak, while bizarrely £45m was spent on Anthony Gordon in January. But aside from that buy from Everton, the north-east club have been praised for the work in the transfer market, which has as of yet not been as disruptive as many would have imagined. 

PIF are instead spending huge amounts in their homeland of Saudi Arabia, as they attract some of the biggest and best names in world football to the middle east. It remains to be seen how that division impacts the Premier League and Newcastle United, but so far the Toon Army have been delighted with the impact their signings have made. 


Kieran Trippier has been a revelation as captain. Sven Botman is already looking like a bargain at £35m and Bruno Guimaraes has been sensational since joining in January 2022 for £40m. These were big signings and have made a giant impact on the pitch, but it never felt like Newcastle were splurging, as Manchester City had done some blatantly after their takeover in the late noughties. 

But all that is about to change as Sandro Tonali is set to join for £68.5m from AC Milan. It’s a club record fee for Newcastle and a statement of intent as they look match their performance in the Premier League, and make a big impact in Europe. 

"When such an important offer is received it is difficult to refuse both for the club and the player,"  Tonali's agent Giuseppe Riso told Sky Sports. Tonali helped Milan win the Italian title in 2021/22, was part of the side which reached last season's Champions League semi-finals and is in Italy’s U21 squad for the current European Championships.


At 23, he has a whole lot of time to flourish in the Premier League and the six-year contract he is set to be offered shows the belief of Newcastle in him, and the long-term project they are planning to build. Isak may have been the first big signing over £50m, but Tonali feels like something on the next level. 

You are always going to pay a premium for a young striker on the continent, but Tonali’s price feels inflated at this moment in time. He may prove to be worth every penny, but Newcastle have paid a premium to get him to the club. And they won’t stop there. With the Champions League money coming in, they’ve jumped ahead of schedule and now will look to compete with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. 

It won’t be long until they have a £40m player in every position, as those clubs do. That’s how they are going to get themselves on a level playing field with those big clubs and it feels as though this is the summer they should spend big. The Champions League is a golden goose for clubs like Newcastle, and they have a chance to go deep into the competition and reap the financial rewards that that brings. 

Signings such as Tonali will help them succeed in Europe, but they need to strike while the iron is hot in terms of other signings. Most elite players in Europe are desperate to play in the Champions League and now Newcastle can offer that it gives them a distinct advantage, even over clubs such as Liverpool and Chelsea who are part of the established elite. 

Tonali is just the start of Newcastle's consistent spending. These are the types of signings that will take them to the top of English football and perhaps the top of European football. 

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