Former Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has expressed his perspective on the ongoing Italian investigation into alleged illegal betting activity that led to a seven-month suspension for Juventus midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo. This investigation now involves Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali, whom Cellino is supporting.
Cellino played a key role in Tonali’s early career at Brescia before the player transferred to AC Milan. Tonali then made a £55 million move to Newcastle United in the summer. However, the recent investigation has raised concerns about a potential lengthy ban for the player.
Cellino strongly believes in Tonali’s integrity, describing him as a “clean guy” with strong principles. He pointed out that all his players at Brescia had a great relationship with Tonali. Cellino highlighted Tonali’s admirable actions, such as buying a car for his father, who is a carpenter, and a house for his nurse mother, after receiving his first substantial earnings. He questioned the validity of the allegations against Tonali and expressed concern about the impact on the young player.
In summary, Massimo Cellino, the former Leeds United owner, is defending Sandro Tonali’s character and asserting his belief in the player’s innocence in the face of the Italian betting investigation. He emphasizes Tonali’s clean reputation and ethical principles, hoping that the Italian authorities will consider the impact on the player’s career.