sport

Santon dismisses AC Milan link

Italian full-back Davide Santon has dismissed talk of a return to his homeland and insisted he has no intention of leaving Newcastle United.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to AC Milan after club president Silvio Berlusconi highlighted him as one of a number of players he is looking at to form a new, younger team at the San Siro.

However, Santon, who has made 27 appearances for Newcastle this season and has another three-and-a-half years left on his contract, told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle that he is happy on Tyneside.

He said: "I have had a year and a half here. I really enjoy it. I am happy at the club.

"This is really important for a young player. We are a young team here and we are growing together. That will only make us stronger in the long-term."

Santon has made 52 appearances for Newcastle following a 5m move from Inter Milan in August 2011.

He has established himself as the club's first-choice left-back, but has not figured for the Italian senior national team since his move, despite having arrived with seven caps.

Nevertheless, he believes his time with Newcastle has made him a better player.

"The team give me confidence to play my game," he added. "If you play when you are stressed you can't give 100 per cent. But when you are settled as a group you can do well.

"I know I can do better than now, though. And when we have all of our players fit, we know we can do better as a team."