DAVIDE SANTON remains focused on succeeding at Newcastle United despite increased interest from abroad in the Italian full-back.

Locally produced Paul Dummett has performed well at left-back since Santon, who has had a knee niggle, was left out of the side following the 4-0 hammering to Tottenham on February 12.

That has led to suggestions that the former AC Milan defender could be on his way out of St James’ Park this summer because of the alternative options the Magpies have in his role.

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As well as Dummett, there is also the promising Massadio Haidara to consider, while Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa can fill in there even though he is predominantly a centre-back.

AC Milan have been long term admirers of Santon, while Russians Zenit St Petersburg have more recently been linked with a move for the full-back.

But the 23-year-old, who has regularly indicated he is happy on Tyneside, is not giving up on his Newcastle career just yet.

His agent, Renzo Contratto, said: “We have several times had a conversation with the Russian team, which has taken an active interest in my client. But it must be understood that many European teams are interested in my client.

“Now the player is fully focused on performance for his club, but no one knows what will happen in the summer. I do know that Newcastle are not going to release the player for less than a certain amount.”

Santon arrived from Inter Milan for £5m in the summer of 2011 and has made the left-back slot his own, with manager Alan Pardew regularly praising the eight-time international. Newcastle are unlikely to sell the player for less than that.

Santon has not even been on the bench for the last two wins over Aston Villa and Hull City, even though centre-back Fabricio Coloccini missed the latter.

Coloccini was allowed to return to Argentina last weekend following a family bereavement, although he should return to the squad when the Magpies travel to Fulham on March 15.