Magpies snap up Santon
The 20-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee, understood to amount to around £5million, after flying into Tyneside for a medical this morning. Santon effectively replaces Spaniard Jose Enrique, whose departure for Liverpool earlier this month left Pardew with a massive hole to plug, and will wear his number three shirt. Pardew said: "We are delighted to bring to Davide to Newcastle. "He is a quality left-back and an established international who also gives us flexibility in defence. "Davide is a young lad and a great signing for us and I am sure he will adapt to the Premier League very quickly." Santon, who can play in both full-back positions, made 40 appearances for Inter after emerging from the ranks, and is relishing the chance to test himself in the Barclays Premier League. He said: "I am really pleased to sign for Newcastle. The chance to play in the Premier League and in front of 50,000 fans at St. James' Park was too good to turn down. "This is an ambitious club who want to move forward and I want to help them achieve that." Santon, who at one point earlier in his career, was dubbed "the new Paolo Maldini" by then Inter boss Jose Mourinho, arrived on Tyneside with something to prove after a lull following a blistering start to his career. He has seven senior international caps, but had slipped so far down the pecking order at the San Siro that he spent the second half of last season on loan at Cesena. However, Newcastle have done their homework and are confident that talent which marked him out as a teenage prodigy can be harnessed to good effect in the Barclays Premier League. Santon also fits the profile of players the Magpies have targeted in recent years. Managing director Derek Llambias said: "The signing of Davide Santon is a real coup for this club. "It confirms our commitment to bringing quality players whose best years are ahead of them to St James' Park." The Magpies have spent several weeks attempting to land Enrique's replacement with PSV Eindhoven's Erik Pieters of Lyon's Aly Cissokho among the other names on the manager's wish-list. However, while he will be relieved to have made the breakthrough with barely 24 ours of the transfer window left, Pardew is still hoping to land a striker ahead of tomorrow night's deadline. Sochaux's Modibo Maiga remains at the top of his list after something of a thaw in relations between the two clubs after the French side complained to FIFA over Newcastle's pursuit. Meanwhile, Charlton keeper Rob Elliot was also on Tyneside today with a view to pushing through a move. The League One side too were unhappy with the Magpies as they attempted to lure the 25-year-old to the north-east, although they now appear to be ready to do business.