Coloccini committed to Magpies
Published 06/05/2014 | 09:27
Skipper Fabricio Coloccini has moved to end speculation over his future by insisting he will remain a Newcastle player next season.
The 32-year-old central defender looked to be heading away from Tyneside when he asked to leave because of personal problems in January last year.
However, the Argentina international was held to the four-year contract extension he had signed in March 2012 by the Magpies and, despite suggestions that he would look to end his stay in England this summer, he has signalled his intention to stay.
Coloccini told the Shields Gazette: "For sure. I'm going to be here."
The news represents a boost for beleaguered managed Alan Pardew, who is already facing a significant rebuilding job after a difficult season.
He told Press Association Sport: "He is a Newcastle player and he will be next year."
Coloccini played in Saturday's 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Cardiff as Newcastle ended a run of six successive defeats, with unhappy fans making their feelings abundantly clear.
He turned in one of his better performances in recent weeks to remind supporters of the form which made him a favourite, prompting such concern when he expressed a desire to be allowed to return to South America.
Argentinian club San Lorenzo waged a very public campaign to lure Coloccini home, but could not come up with the kind of finance they needed to persuade the Magpies to do business and it was left to Pardew to delicately re-integrate the player and help him through the issues behind his request.
Coloccini said: "I had personal problems. Sometimes it's tough. You have to decide between the problems and the work.
"Sometimes it's too difficult. Now it's finished and next season, I will be here. I'm looking forward to improving.
"We want the best for Newcastle United. This season, we finished top 10, and maybe we will bring some players [in the summer].
"We will try to do well and finish in the top eight or something like that. We will always try to improve."
Crystal Palace's remarkable fightback against Liverpool on Monday night was not enough to maintain their faint hopes of forcing their way ahead of Newcastle in the league table as the final round of fixtures approaches and that means Pardew's men will finish in the top 10, the point at which staff bonuses will be paid.
They are currently in ninth place, but could yet be overtaken by Stoke on the final day, when they head for Anfield.