Sunderland agree £4m deal to sign Davide Santon from Internazionale

• Transfer hinges on Santon passing medical at Sunderland
• Former Newcastle full-back keen to return to north-east

Davide Santon is set to join Sunderland from Internazionale with a medical apparently the only obstacle between the Italy full-back and a £4m return to the north-east, where he played for Newcastle United.

A history of problems resulting in assorted operations on the 25-year-old’s right knee explain why a player mentored by José Mourinho during the first of Santon’s two spells at Inter has never fulfilled his extraordinary teenage promise.

Capable of playing in both full-back positions as well as in a defensive midfield role – although Newcastle deployed him primarily at left-back – Santon was once dubbed the new Paolo Maldini. He had also been a target for Crystal Palace where his former St James’ Park manager Alan Pardew is in charge, but Santon’s partner is from Tyneside and the couple are keen to return to the north-east.

Santon left Inter’s pre-season training camp on Thursday and headed for Wearside where, with personal terms believed to be all but agreed, the deal hinges on the medical.

He is likely to be used at right-back by Sam Allardyce. Sunderland’s manager would expect a player who began his career as a winger to offer some much-needed attacking impetus from a position that proved a weak link last season.


Louise Taylor

The GuardianTramp

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