Newcastle United have been attacked over their handling of Davide Santon's loan move back to Inter Milan by the Italy international's girlfriend, Chloe Sanderson.
Santon has made just one appearance this season due to a long-running knee injury and in order to assist his recovery, the 24-year-old has returned to his homeland for the remainder of the campaign.
Though Newcastle and Inter are yet to confirm the deal, the left-back has taken to his official Facebook page to announce the move on deadline day in the January transfer window.
"Life is strange... I never expected to return," Santon wrote. "Thanks Newcastle and thanks to all the fans for these 3 and a half years together... we've spent many good times... This city and this team will always remain in my heart. I start a new adventure... I'm happy."
The harmonious relationship between Santon and Newcastle has however been compromised by the deal, after the player's girlfriend claimed her partner had been forced out of St James' Park.
"Just to put it out there, Davide declined Inter Milan's first offer but was pushed out by Newcastle to leave," Sanderson wrote on Twitter.
"Disgusted with how Davide has been treated, full fit for a while now with no chance to play – a club whose only intentions are to make £££."
Since joining Newcastle in 2011, Santon's career in the Premier League has been beset by injury, with the player making just 94 appearances in three-and-a-half seasons at the club.
Santon is one of five players to leave the Toon during the January window after Hatem Ben Arfa's contract was cancelled, Callum Roberts and Adam Campbell departed on loan and Roma signed Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – the first exit of John Carver's official reign as caretaker manager.
Four more players are set to join that list in the final hours of deadline day with reports suggesting a clutch of Magpies players could join Glasgow Rangers – part owned by Mike Ashley – until the end of the campaign.