Saturday 7 December 2019

Skipper Coloccini vows to never play for Newcastle again

Newcastle United's Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle United's Fabricio Coloccini

Martin Hardy

Fabricio Coloccini is heading out of Newcastle United after he told officials he does not want to play another game for the club.

The 31-year-old captain now plans to leave Tyneside in his desire to return home to Argentina as he deals with "personal matters". Coloccini's wife is already believed to have returned to Argentina.

Talks had taken place earlier this week between Coloccini's representatives and officials from Newcastle in a bid to broker a peace deal where the central defender would stay at St James' Park until the end of the season.

However, after extensive discussions they failed to reach agreement and now the player is set to quit. In the background to all this was the vocal interest of the Argentinian side San Lorenzo, for whom Coloccini played on loan in the 2000-01 season. Coloccini's father Osvaldo works at the club.

They have not been able to find the funding to buy the player from Newcastle. Coloccini's £60,000-a-week salary is way out of their budget. They were unable to negotiate a fee for the player.

That was seen in some quarters as offering the possibility of Coloccini staying. However, the player, who first told club officials of his desire to quit Tyneside on January 10, has instead reaffirmed his decision to end his four-and-a-half years at St James' Park.

The 31-year-old was signed for £10.3m in 2008. Newcastle were relegated that season but he excelled during the following campaign and established himself as one of the most cultured central defenders in the Premier League. He signed a new contract and was voted into PFA team of the year, but the last few months have been troubled.

Coloccini does not intend to play against Aston Villa in Tuesday's crucial relegation battle at Villa Park – their next game – but Newcastle could have half a new team in place by then.

Bordeaux forward Yoan Gouffran is expected to be unveiled this morning after a fee was agreed with the Ligue One side late last night.

The 26-year-old has scored 12 goals in France this season.

Mapou Yanga-MBiwa is almost certain to start the game following his £6.7m move from French champions Montpellier. Mathieu Debuchy will play his second game following his £5m switch from Lille. Massadio Haidara is also on the brink of moving to St James' Park and Newcastle are battling for the signature of Florian Thauvin.

Yanga-MBiwa believes he has signed for a club who can fight for a Champions League place when the influx of new players have settled. (© Independent News Service)

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