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Santon happy at Newcastle United; Juve boss Conte praises Gary Hooper

Davide Santon has insisted that he is happy with life on Tyneside after being linked with a move to AC Milan in January.

Newcastle United defender Davide Santon has insisted that he is happy with life on Tyneside after being linked with a move to Serie A giants AC Milan during the January transfer window, Sky Sports understands.

Santon, 22, is the only Newcastle United player to have started each of the Magpies’ 26 Premier League matches in 2012-13.

The 22-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to Milan, as the Rossoneri consider the future of  Italy international right-back  Ignazio Abate.

The emergence of 20-year-old full-back Mattia De Sciglio, who earned his first call-up to the Italy senior team earlier this season, has also led to serious speculation regarding the future of Abate, with Santon tipped as his replacement by countless media sources.

However, Santon has revealed — once again — that he will not be heading back to Lombardy, while simultaneously praising the English Premier League and its supporters.

“At the moment this is the only place to play for me,” Santon told the Evening Chronicle.

“The Premier League is better than Serie A and better than La Liga. The fans here are the best.

“Playing at Newcastle has also helped me get back into the Italy squad. My coach in Italy is happy with me and so is Mr. Pardew. I will keep giving 100 per cent.”

The 22-year-old Italy international has started a career-high 30 matches in all competitions for the Magpies this season, while reestablishing himself in the Azzurri setup.

Juve boss Conte praises Gary Hooper

Juventus manager Antonio Conte has praised Celtic striker Gary Hooper ahead of the Turin giants’ UEFA Champions League clash with the Scottish Premier League side on Tuesday night, Sky Sports reports.

Norwich City made several bids for the 25-year-old striker in the January transfer window, but Celtic simply would not offload their talisman on the cheap.

Hooper, 25, has bagged 22 goals in all competitions for the Scottish giants this term, including two goals in five UCL appearances.

“Hooper up front is a player who, with the greatest of respect to Scotland, could excel in our championship in Italy,” said Conte.

“He is a very fast player, who attacks the spaces very well and is a good finisher.”

In addition, Conte also praised central midfield duo Scott Brown and Victor Wanyama, centre-back Kelvin Wilson, No. 9 Georgios Samaras and goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Hooper, a former Tottenham Hotspur youth star, will be looking to give his side a lead to protect on Tuesday night.

 

Tue 12 February, 2013
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