Aston Villa have announced that Nicolo Zaniolo will feature in their upcoming Premier League match against West Ham United this weekend despite recent controversy surrounding the attacker.
Villa revealed that Zaniolo is actively cooperating with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and law enforcement agencies in connection with the ongoing probe into alleged illegal betting activities.
The statement read (via Villa’s website): “Aston Villa can confirm Nicolo Zaniolo is assisting the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the relevant authorities’ investigation into alleged illegal betting activity. The player has also met with senior officials at the club.
“Zaniolo is training as normal with the first-team squad and is available for selection ahead of this weekend’s match with West Ham United.
“No further comment will be made by the Club during this ongoing process.”
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe disclosed earlier today that Tonali is in line to play their home game against Crystal Palace tomorrow.
The investigation has already claimed one casualty, with Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli handed a seven-month ban from football after reaching an agreement with the FIGC.
The Italy international admitted to violating betting regulations.
Tonali is expected to take a similarly lengthy ban amid reports that he placed bets on his former team, AC Milan.
However, Zaniolo’s case remains shrouded in mystery, as there are no significant developments reported so far.
Villa take on West Ham at Villa Park, looking to continue their fine start to the season that sees them in fifth position in the Premier League.
But they face a stern test in the Hammers, who are seventh in the standings.
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