DAVIDE Santon has reiterated his commitment to Newcastle United and admitted he is glad a potential pre-season move to Roma failed to materialise.
The 21-year-old defender confirmed there had been interest from the Italian club in the early stages of this summer, but he had no intention of ending his adventure on Tyneside just a year after arriving from Inter Milan.
Santon has been constantly linked with a move back to Italy, despite his success at St James’ Park in the last campaign once he got himself fully fit following problems with his knee.
The £5.3million signing was a big hit for Alan Pardew’s side in the second half of the season and played a major part in the successful charge to a European place.
Roma tested Santon’s loyalty to Newcastle when they made it clear they were keen to sign him. A swap deal involving Bojan Krkic, the former Barcelona star, was mooted at the time.
However, in an interview with Italian website calciomercato.co, the full-back made it clear that, for the moment, he is going nowhere.
Santon said: “AS Roma wanted me, but Newcastle replied that I was not for sale and I am glad of this.
“I feel really good. I have recovered from a knee injury and now I’m facing the pre-season with Newcastle at my best.
“I am fine here now I know what the coach wants and I’m ready to play a great season.
“I think we can fight for a place in the next Champions League. It’s hard but we can do it.
“I left Inter Milan because I was not playing and I needed my space to grow and now I’m delighted to wear the Newcastle shirt.”
Santon, who has seven caps for Italy, did not rule out a return to Milan in the future, but not to the club he joined as a 14-year-old and went on to win two Serie A titles with.
He said: “When I was a child, I was an AC Milan fan and it would certainly be great to wear that shirt even if I should think twice about it, having played for Inter.”
Newcastle have been monitoring Marseille striker Loïc Remy, although they are far from the only ones, and the striker admitted yesterday he had heard the rumours that he could be heading to England.
The French international, who missed out on a place in Les Bleus’ squad for Euro 2012 due to injury, has refused to sign a new deal with his club and has not hidden his desire to land a move that would further his career.
He has a year remaining on his present deal, meaning that it is almost certain that Marseille will cash in on him this summer, with £10million a realistic asking price.
Remy (pictured above) said: “I have a contract with Marseille but, if the club wants to sell you, there is nothing you can do about that. The window closes on August 31, so we have plenty of time.”
Newcastle, meanwhile, moved quickly yesterday to dismiss reports that emerged from Russia about big-spending Rubin Kazan being ready to cash in on Demba Ba’s release clause.
Radio Sport claimed the Russians had offered £7m for the Senegalese striker, which would be enough see him leave St James’ Park, but the club said that there was no truth in the report.