North East latest: Middlesbrough in for former Arsenal man; Newcastle striker's first interview

Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium gates

News of Middlesbrough's chase of former Arsenal man Reice Charles-Cook, Davide Santon's desire to stay at Newcastle and Ayoze Perez's first interview.

We bring you all the biggest stories to break involving the clubs in the North East over the last 24 hours.

1) Middlesbrough face a battle for Reice Charles-Cook

Middlesbrough are fighting it out with Championship duo Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers to sign former Arsenal goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook, the Huddersfield Examiner reports.

The 20-year-old, who came through Arsenal’s academy before making a move to Bury last season, is now of interest to bigger clubs.

2) Davide Santon wants to stay at Newcastle United

Davide Santon has said that he wants to remain at St James’ Park for the remainder of his contract, amid reported interest from Roma and AC Milan.

Santon has been linked with a move back to his country of birth this summer, but says that he is happy at Newcastle and does not want to leave.

'There has been interest from Milan and Roma for me, but I have two more years on my contract with Newcastle and I don't know if they want to sell me', he explained.

'I'm fine at Newcastle, I immediately felt at home there and I like the Premier League. I think I won't return to Italy this summer'.

3) New Newcastle signing can’t wait to get started

Newcastle's first summer signing, Ayoze Perez, is looking forward to getting started at the club.

Perez’s transfer from Tenerife was confirmed today and he says that he cannot wait to get going.

He told the club’s official site: 'I'm very eager for it to begin and I'm very pleased to play for this magnificent club. Any football player would be interested in playing for such a Club and I will earn my position to get in the first team'.

4) Vito Mannone says he will have special memories of last season

While most Sunderland fans will want to put the last season to the back of their minds fairly quickly despite the club’s Premier League survival, Vito Mannone says that it is one that will live long in his memory.

The Italian was voted as Sunderland’s Player of the Season after a series of fine displays and says that last campaign is one he will always remember.

'With everything that has happened this season, there’s a few special moments which will stick with me',  he said to the club's official site. 'If I had to predict the way it went, I couldn’t have done. It was a really emotional season with highs and lows, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it'.

5) Sunderland are keen to sell Modibo Diakite

Sunderland are hoping to be able to sell Modibo Diakite, despite having seen his transfer to Fiorentina fall through, reports the Shields Gazette.

Diakite was loaned out to the Italian side for the second part of last season and was expected to complete a permanent move there in the summer, but the Serie A outfit have opted against making the signing.

Diakite is now set for a return to Wearside, but the club are determined to sell him as manager Gus Poyet doesn’t see him having a role in his future plans.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch