MATT TARGETT has spelled out his desire to join Newcastle United permanently this summer – and is hoping Sunday’s season-ending game at Burnley will not be his final appearance in a black-and-white shirt.

Targett joined Newcastle on a season-long loan from Aston Villa in January, and his performances in the second half of the campaign have been a major factor in the Magpies’ surge up the Premier League table. The 26-year-old has made the left-back spot his own, keeping Paul Dummett on the substitutes’ bench and fully justifying Eddie Howe’s decision to leave Jamal Lewis out of his 25-man squad.

Newcastle are understood to have agreed a clause in Targett’s loan deal that will enable them to complete a permanent deal for around £15m this summer, and it would be a major surprise if Howe did not decide to trigger the arrangement when the transfer window officially reopens.

Targett lost his place in the Villa team to Lucas Digne prior to moving to Tyneside, and having thoroughly enjoyed his time in the North-East, the full-back is hoping Newcastle will offer him a permanent transfer.

“I think everyone knows what I want, but it’s up to the club,” said the defender, in an interview with NUFC TV that was conducted as he took part in the lap of honour that followed last night’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal. “It’s a massive project, an exciting project, and I’m sure everyone wants to be a part of it.

“I’ve loved every single minute of my time here. It’s been an incredible place to play my football. I’ve loved every second of it.”

Last week, Howe was warning that the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules will prevent Newcastle from making extravagant investments into the playing squad this summer.

There is an intention to recruit at least four or five new players before the start of next season though, with one of those slots almost certainly having been earmarked for Targett.

The former Southampton trainee has fitted in seamlessly since joining in January, and his £15m price tag represents something of a bargain given his extensive Premier League experience and his performance levels in the last four months.

Beyond securing a permanent deal for Targett, Howe will be prioritising the purchase of a new centre-forward and central midfielder, although he accepts it will not necessarily be easy to recruit players despite Newcastle’s new-found wealth.

“It’s very difficult to plan a summer transfer window because, as I’ve said before, of the unpredictability of the market,” he said. “But, of course, I have an idea of what I want to do, and where I want to take the team, and the changes that we need to make. It’s one thing having that idea in your head, and another to then execute it though, so we’ll wait and see what happens.”

Nevertheless, having guided his side to survival in the second half of the campaign, Howe is desperate to avoid another battle in the bottom half of the table next season.

The aim is to develop a side that is capable of challenging in the top ten, with last night’s defeat of Champions League-chasing Arsenal having once again highlighted the quality that exists within the current squad, even before the possibility of new additions in the summer is factored into the equation.

“I certainly hope (to avoid another relegation battle), but there’s no guarantees in football, and I think that’s what makes the game so beautiful,” said Howe. “You never know what’s around the corner.

“We have ambitions to improve, so we’re not in this position again, fighting through the season. But the Premier League is so difficult. The league examines you in lots of different ways. The competition is fierce, and everyone will have different aims and dreams. All I can pledge is that I will do everything in my power to make sure we come back a stronger team, but there’s no guarantee on anything.”