Fabricio Coloccini could be set to play his last game for Newcastle United

Coloccini set to play at Norwich, but could it be his last game for Newcastle

Colin Young


07:32 GMT, 11 January 2013



23:04 GMT, 11 January 2013

Newcastle United are facing a battle to hang on to talismanic captain Fabricio Coloccini after he told the club he wants to quit the Barclays Premier League and return to Argentina.

Although the 30-year-old central defender, who helped guide the club to fifth place last season, has not handed in a transfer request, he has indicated he would like to return to South America immediately.

But options for Coloccini, who is understood to have cited personal reasons for his unhappiness, are limited. His former club San Lorenzo, where his father Osvaldo works, lead the chase for his signature but would not be able to afford Newcastle’s asking price or his 60,000-a-week wages.

Homesick Fabricio Coloccini wants to go back to Argentina

Homesick Fabricio Coloccini wants to go back to Argentina

The Argentina international, who
signed a new five-year deal along with keeper Tim Krul last season, was
on Arsenal and Liverpool’s radar a year ago and would be valued between
8million to 10million.

After a difficult first season in
England which coincided with Newcastle’s relegation, Coloccini returned
to form in the following season as the club gained promotion from the

As well as leading by example in his
performances, he has become a strong captain for manager Alan Pardew
behind the scenes and has played an integral part in shaping the
Newcastle manager’s squad.

Coloccini has been included in the squad to face Norwich City and former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton at Carrow Road today.

Pardew hopes he can persuade his
skipper to stay at St James’s Park as he prepares to welcome back key
players such as Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa and add to his first
winter signing Mathieu Debuchy, the 5.5million full back from Lille who
will make his Newcastle debut today.

Coloccini’s first club, San Lorenzo,
said last night they hoped the player would be able to buy out the
remainder of his contract to return home. Club president Matias Lammens
told ESPN Radio Rivadavia: ‘Coloccini’s arrival is very difficult. We
can’t go out and buy him.

We have always said that we depended on the desire of the player to rescind [his deal at Newcastle].

Key: Coloccini has impressed at Newcastle during the last two years

Key: Coloccini has impressed at Newcastle during the last two years

‘We can offer him a very good contract but San Lorenzo have nothing left to do with regards to the negotiating.’

Meanwhile, Hughton insists his focus will be on getting Norwich back to winning ways tomorrow.

Hughton was unceremoniously axed by
the Magpies in December 2010, despite the side being in mid-table after
promotion. He is still held in high regard by the Toon Army and received
a warm reception when Norwich played at St James’ Park in September.

However, while he admitted he enjoys
the admiration from Newcastle fans, with Norwich having lost their last
four Premier League games Hughton is focused solely on picking up a key

‘Of course it is a nice feeling, it is probably an appreciation of the job I did,’ he said.

‘But as soon as that whistle blows,
it is about trying to play well enough to get the points. Anything at
Newcastle is not my concern. My only concern is the job I am doing.’

Stunned: Alan Pardew has endured a tough season at Newcastle

Stunned: Alan Pardew has endured a tough season at Newcastle