VALENTINO LAZARO is confident his loan move to Newcastle United will enable him to get his career moving in the right direction again after a difficult spell at Inter Milan.

Lazaro was confirmed as Newcastle’s second January signing yesterday after penning a loan deal to the end of the season. The Magpies have agreed to pay £1.25m as a loan fee to Inter, and have negotiated a clause that will enable them to complete a permanent transfer for around £20m next summer.

The Austria international has struggled for game time since moving to the San Siro from Hertha Berlin last summer, and needs to start holding down a regular first-team place in order to secure his place at Euro 2020.

A versatile wide player who can play at full-back, wing-back or in midfield, he turned down alternative offers from Red Bull Leipzig and Bologna in order to move to Newcastle, and is determined to start making his mark as quickly as possible.

The paperwork for his transfer did not go through in time for him to make his debut in today’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Oxford United – Nabil Bentaleb will make his bow in the sold-out game at St James’ Park – but he is looking forward to making a new start on Tyneside.

“I have been talks for quite a while now, and to be honest, it was not an easy decision for me,” said Lazaro. “Would I go to England? And if so, to which club? Or would I go to Germany or stay in Milan and keep fighting for my chance?

“It was the great talks and conversations I’ve had that convinced me that I can make a good step in my career here and help the team. I’ve only heard good things about the club. I’ve had good talks with the coach, the staff, and everyone around the club. I feel very happy to be here now.”

Steve Bruce is delighted to have signed Lazaro, with the 23-year-old’s arrival having proved especially timely after Emil Krafth and Florian Lejeune were both injured in Tuesday’s draw at Everton.

“He’ll give us an extra something going forwards,” said Bruce, who will welcome Allan Saint-Maximin back into his starting side this afternoon. “He can play in a few positions, but ultimately he’s an out-and-out wide player that can give us something else down the right-hand side. I’m delighted we’ve got him.

“We’ve been able to hold off a couple of clubs. Once he became available someone of his pedigree was always going to have a few options, but thankfully he’s chosen us. There was big talk of Leipzig, but I think the idea of coming here and playing in the Premier League appealed.”

* Newcastle vs Oxford FA Cup preview - Page 32