Massadio Haidara set for left-back promotion - which leaves Davide Santon's future uncertain

Haidara's future was undecided before the end of the campaign with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew deliberately pitching the young left-back into action at the end of the season

Newcastle United's Massadio Haidara
Newcastle United's Massadio Haidara

Newcastle United are ready to promote Massadio Haidara to become their first choice left-back next season, which will open the door for Davide Santon to leave the club this summer.

Haidara’s future was undecided before the end of the campaign with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew deliberately pitching the young left-back into action at the end of the season to see whether he had made progress during a difficult period that was pockmarked with injuries.

The Journal understands that in the end-of-season debrief it was decided that he was ready for an extended run in the team – despite reports in France that included him with a crop of their available French players that Newcastle have circulated to Ligue 1 suitors.

Haidara’s positive impression has left Santon’s position looking increasingly uncertain and Newcastle have invited offers for the Italy defender.

Santon’s representatives are understood to have pressed for a contract extension in the final months of the season but with Newcastle resisting that, there appears to have been a certain amount of casting the net from his agents.

Roma and AC Milan have both shown interest but Newcastle are determined to make a handsome profit on the defender signed for around £5million from Inter Milan in August 2011. Santon is aware of the uncertainty surrounding his own position and although he is prepared to stay and battle for his place, Newcastle are likely to shift his wages if they do not intend to play him regularly next season.

He said last week: “There has been interest from Roma and AC Milan but I have two years left on my contract at Newcastle and I don’t know if they will let me go. I must say that I feel good at Newcastle as they have made me feel at home and I like the English League.” United face a similar situation with Steven Taylor but it is understood that Pardew was challenged at the end-of-season debrief about why one of the club’s biggest earners had not been given more opportunities in the first team.

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Davide Santon of Newcastle United
Davide Santon of Newcastle United

He has been linked with Queens Park Rangers and Hull City but neither would meet his wage demands and it is now more likely that the defender will remain on Newcastle’s books and get a clean slate next season, with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa set to make way in United’s defensive options.

While Yanga-Mbiwa was signed with a view to eventually replacing Fabricio Coloccini, little seems to have gone his way since coming to Tyneside and Bordeaux president Jean Louis Tiraud spoke of his admiration for the centre-back yesterday.

Just as United are trying to raise £3million for Sylvain Marveaux, they also want to cover the costs of signing Yanga-Mbiwa too, which will make it difficult for Bordeaux to clinch a deal for the Newcastle outcast.

Tiraud said: “He is an excellent player who has a defect, he was bought for a lot of money by Newcastle and his salary is high.

“The problem with a loan is most clubs wait until August 31 because they are still trying to sell the player.”

United landed their second summer signing on Monday night when they moved for Sunderland’s Jack Colback – and they are now interested in brokering a deal for long-term target Bafetimbi Gomis.

French reports yesterday claimed Newcastle were ready to offer him £75,000-per-week and a £2.5million signing on fee, which would be enough to sign him.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer