Davide Santon’s future has been confirmed at Inter Milan beyond this season.

Despite Newcastle being desperately short on defenders, Mike Ashley sold Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and loaned out Santon in January.

The full-back returned to his first club on an initial loan basis and was widely reported to have a clause that after ten appearances Inter Milan would be committed to buying him for £2.8m.

Davide Santon went into this weekend with nine appearances already under his belt and made his tenth, when he came on against Cesena as a substitute on Sunday.

The news across the media in Italy today is that Inter actually were in touch with Newcastle United before this weekend to start sorting the paperwork side of things for a permanent transfer.

The transfer will formally go through at the end of the season, with the Inter Live website just one of the media sources confirming the news today.

The club defended the decision on Santon going out, by saying he only had a year left on his contract this summer.

All fair enough if Mike Ashley had allowed any money to be spent on covering the departures of Mapou and Santon.

With no replacements and Coloccini’s stupid sending off the latest defensive disaster, things go from bad to worse, only two clubs have a worse defensive record than Newcastle, with even bottom club Leicester conceding less so far than United.

Mike Ashley and Newcastle United’s total lack of ambition could be leading to something far worse than mid-table mediocrity very shortly.