Belfast Telegraph

Magpies close in on Santon

Inter Milan full-back Davide Santon is on Tyneside to undergo a medical with a view to completing a move to Newcastle, Press Association Sport understands.

The 20-year-old headed for England after the two clubs agreed a fee, understood to be in the region of £5million, with the Magpies' search for a replacement for Jose Enrique nearing a conclusion.

Santon, who was described as "the new Paolo Maldini" earlier in his career, spent the second half of last season on loan at Cesena after falling out of favour at Inter, initially under former manager Jose Mourinho.

The news will provide a welcome boost for manager Alan Pardew, who has waited patiently for a breakthrough after finally having to admit defeat in his efforts to hang on to Enrique, who completed his switch to Liverpool during the final few days of the close season.

PSV Eindhoven's Erik Pieters and Lyon's Aly Cissokho were also high on his list of targets, but with the club refusing to budge on its valuations during tough negotiations, a series of frustrating impasses were reached.

Charlton keeper Rob Elliot was also at Newcastle on Tuesday. Press Association Sport understands the 25-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of this season, arrived at the club's Darsley Park training headquarters on the heels of Santon.

Elliot, who is expected to holds talks and undergo a medical, has been at the centre of a brewing row between the two clubs in recent weeks with Charlton having made a formal complaint over the Barclays Premier League side's pursuit.

Meanwhile, Sochaux have confirmed they have received a bid from Newcastle for Modibo Maiga but insist they will not sell the Mali forward until they have found a replacement.

The Magpies are believed to have been tracking the 23-year-old all summer, with a report in France claiming Sochaux president Alexandre Lacombe has had several phone conversations with Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias over the player.

"There has been an offer from them," Lacombe told French newspaper L'Alsace. "But my goal is to maintain a competitive team. I will not sell Modibo without having found a replacement."

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