Newcastle’s Davide Santon, fuelling speculation that the full-back might join the Italian giants during the transfer window.

Santon, 22, is only 18 months into a five-year contract signed upon arriving at St James’ Park from Milan’s fierce rivals Inter for a fee of £5.3 million in the summer of 2011.

The Italian endured a mixed first campaign on Tyneside, but he has established himself into the first team this season, starting all of Newcastle’s 21 Premier League fixtures.

Santon and the Magpies have struggled this term but the former Inter player, who broke into the Italy national team in 2009, remains highly regarded in Italy and Berlusconi admits he is following the defender’s progress.

In an interview with Sportmediaset, Milan’s owner and former Italian Prime Minister said, “We are following about 100 young players. [Roma’s Mattia] Destro and [Davide] Santon? I like both.”

Newcastle will be hoping to keep hold of Santon, a regular first-team starter, in their bid to avoid relegation.

The Magpies sit just two points above the drop zone after three straight defeats over the Christmas period.

Meanwhile, after a poor start to the season, Milan have clawed their way back to within seven points of the Champions League places and currently sit seventh in Serie A, and can look forward to the knockout stages in Europe’s premier competition next year.

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