Tuesday 3 February 2015 11:45, UK
Newcastle have agreed to send defender Davide Santon on loan to his former club Inter Milan.
Santon will spend the rest of the season with Inter, who have the option of signing him permanently after that.
A Newcastle statement read: "Newcastle United can confirm that Davide Santon has joined Inter Milan on loan for the remainder of the 2014-15 campaign with an option to buy at the end of the season.
"The 24-year-old Italian defender joined the Magpies from the same club in August 2011."
The Italian, who only returned to action in January after a long-term injury, discussed his impending departure in a Facebook posting early on Monday, although it was later deleted after Newcastle said the deal had not been completed.
Santon wrote: "Life is strange. I would never have imagined to come back. I wanted to thank Newcastle and all the fans for these three and a half years together.
“We have spent so many good times. This city and this team will always remain in my heart. You start a new chapter.
"I am happy to go back to the Inter. It is where I started my career and there I lived many important moments. I will give my best to repay the confidence that was given to me.”
It has been a frustrating year for Santon, who played his first game of the season on January 3 in Newcastle's 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Leicester following an eight-month lay-off with a knee injury.
Inter have previously revealed their interest in Santon, who was given his debut by manager Jose Mourinho. But the move back to his homeland is still a surprise following quotes he made on January 14.
The full-back said then: "I am happy here - I still have one and a half years left on my contract and I will probably have to speak to Newcastle soon. I’ve always said I am happy here."
After a four-month loan spell with Cesena in 2011, Santon was brought to St James' Park by Alan Pardew for £5m.