McClaren welcomes Coloccini deal
Published 06/08/2015 | 10:27
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren says Fabricio Coloccini's pre-season preparations were "hindered" by transfer speculation after the Argentinian defender signed a contract extension at St James' Park on Thursday.
Former Magpies boss Alan Pardew was believed to be leading the chase to take Coloccini to Crystal Palace and McClaren expressed his relief after the deal was finally completed.
McClaren, who confirmed Coloccini will continue to captain the club this season, said: "There was interest and it went beyond speculation and I think that has hindered Colo's preparation in pre-season with all that going on.
"It's been going on too long but luckily the club have sat down with him. I've said I want him as captain here and we've got a senior group of players here and I've sat down with every one of them and they've said they want him as captain.
"It was an easy decision in the end to sit him down and extend his contract and hopefully finish his career here at Newcastle United, where he's been for seven years."
Coloccini's deal, which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2016/17 season, follows the club's announcement that Northampton teenager Ivan Toney has become their fourth signing of the summer.
Toney, who has signed what the club described as a "long-term" deal and will initially work with Peter Beardsley's development squad, follows the arrivals of Georginio Wijnaldum, Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Coloccini is fighting to be fit for Sunday's season-opener against Southampton after missing a number of pre-season games, while Mitrovic and Mbemba are also doubts.
But McClaren said the importance of Coloccini's presence going forward could not be underestimated.
McClaren added: "Sometimes captains are different - some could be vocal and some could be right in the media's face every week.
"Colo is a quiet, reserved, very professional person who leads the team through his stature and the respect he has got in the dressing room.
"When he speaks - which isn't often - it's always valuable, always perceptive, always necessary. The rest of the team are delighted he's back on board and so am I."