Defender ready to turn back on Magpies

The Advertiser Series: James Tavernier is set to choose Millers over Magpies James Tavernier is set to choose Millers over Magpies

YOUNG defender James Tavernier is ready to turn his back on Newcastle United after helping Rotherham United gain promotion to the Championship.

Highly-rated right-back Tavernier spent six months on loan at the New York Stadium with the Millers’ season ending with a League One play-off final win over Leyton Orient at Wembley last weekend.

The 22-year-old has been a mainstay in Steve Evans’ side since joining on a temporary deal and contributed five goals in a squad that also included fellow Magpie Haris Vuckic, who also joined on loan.

Tavernier still has a year left on his current contract at St James’ Park, but his chances of breaking into Alan Pardew’s first team plans are slim, especially given the lack of opportunities he has had so far to put forward his case.

And after playing a big part in Rotherham’s step up in the football pyramid, Tavernier has revealed he would consider making a permanent move to South Yorkshire.

“I have got a year left at Newcastle,” Tavernier said. “It's down to Rotherham and Newcastle to sort something out, but yeah, playing in the Championship week in, week out is appealing.

“It's a great level and the club are going in the right direction, we'll just have to see what happens.

“Over the summer I will have a conversation with Newcastle and see where we go from there. Obviously I have put a good set of performances in so I will see where that takes me.

“It's the best loan spell I have had, it's the most I have ever played. The gaffer told me to go and prove I could play every week and that's what I have done, he has showed faith in me.

“It's the most I have played in a team and regular football has brought the best out of me.

“It proves that the more games I have, the better I am going to become.”

While Tavernier could be on the move this summer, another Newcastle defender appears to have ruled out a move away from Tyneside.

Left-back Davide Santon has continuously been linked with a return to Italy with AC Milan, AS Roma and Fiorentina, but his agent Renzo Contract insists he is happy at St James' Park and hinted his client could sign a new contract this summer.

“Davide Santon is happy at Newcastle and the club have just offered him a new contract,” Contract told Italian radio station AsRadioRoma.

“Are there other clubs interested in him? None of this talk is true – they’re just rumours.”

Meanwhile, Pardew has been linked with a move for Norwich City midfielder Robert Snodgrass. The Magpies boss is a long-term admirer of the Scotland international, but after the Canaries’ relegation to the Championship a host of clubs will be lining up for his signature.

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