NEWCASTLE UNITED are not prepared to allow Davide Santon to return to Italy on the cheap after AC Milan stepped up interest in taking the defender home.
Milan president Adriano Galliani has admired the 23-year-old since his days with San Siro rivals Inter Milan and would like to sign him before the start of next season.
There has been uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Clarence Seedorf and his position should become clearer before the start of next week when attentions will turn more towards recruitment.
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Santon has been identified as one of the key defensive targets by Galliani and further contact, which has been made in previous transfer windows, is expected to take place sooner rather than later.
Newcastle are more focused on bringing new players in rather than offloading important members of the first team picture at St James’ Park and it would take a sizeable offer from Milan to tempt a sale.
That is why Guinean left-back Kevin Constant has been mentioned as a possible makeweight in any deal, with the 27-year-old a player who Newcastle’s chief scout Graham Carr will know plenty about because of his work on the continent.
Santon moved to Tyneside for £5m from Inter in 2011 and, with two further years remaining on his contract, Milan would have to improve on that to get Newcastle to even consider selling. The defender, who has regularly stated he is settled in the North-East, missed out on his country’s World Cup squad.
Pardew’s priority is to strengthen over the next few months and he hopes a couple of deals will be concluded before the start of the World Cup.
Another defender, Lazio’s Romanian Stefan Radu, is recommended by Carr but the Rome club are chasing a fee in the region of around £8m for the 27-year-old centre-back.
While new faces are required throughout the squad, Pardew knows the priority is up front following the end of Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong’s loans. Shola Ameobi is also out of contract.
France international Bafetimbi Gomis, due to become a free agent at the end of his Lyon deal, would be an ideal contender to slot straight in to the forward line provided he lowered his wage demands.
But promising Spaniard Ayoze Perez is understood to have agreed terms ahead of a £1.8m switch from Tenerife. He has caught the eyes of Porto and other Premier League clubs since hitting 16 goals in 24 season in Segunda Division.
His Tenerife team-mates, who still have three games remaining to play this season, are already planning for life without him after hearing he will be moving to Newcastle.
Defender Ayoze Diaz said: "The first two months will be difficult but he'll succeed. He has the personality to succeed. This week has not concerned him. We've been talking to him in English.”
Newcastle defender Paul Dummett has been called in to the Wales squad to face Holland in Amsterdam on June 4.
The Dutch are using the game as preparations for the World Cup and it could be Dummett’s first senior cap for his country and he could link up with Gareth Bale down the left flank.