Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace issued a statement yesterday saying that Fabricio Coloccini was not a target of the London club, and that could have been true when it was issued, because Colo had just been given a one year contract extension at Newcastle, but it seems that Palace were definitely after him this summer.
And that’s the reason he has been unsettled during pre-season.
Steve McClaren and Fab Coloccini – new deal
McClaren and the Argentine had long talks and Steve will have been told about the unofficial approaches to Colo, and it looks like Palace and Alan Pardew were willing to offer him a three year deal – and that would have Colo playing until he was 36.
Steve McClaren has been blunt and said Colo was distracted by another club wanting him, and that they shouldn’t now deny they were after him.
That’s a thinly veiled reference to Crystal Palace.
This is what McClaren has said today about the Colo saga:
“He has been captain here for seven years. “It went beyond speculation. “Although people deny it, the interest is a fact – do not deny it, it is a fact.”
“’That’s affected Colo in terms of there is somebody out there offering him a three-year contract. I think it was a distraction.’”
“We went along with it and had to make a decision – I asked a lot of people in the squad, the senior players, and to a man they said they wanted Colo in the team.”
“They respect him as a player, man and captain. From then on it was a case of sitting down and saying, ‘We want you to stay’.
“From day one he has said to me that he wanted to finish his career at Newcastle but there were three or four opportunities that he had.
“As always in these decisions we had to make a statement and the club has done that – Colo is back on board.”
“Coloccini hasn’t played a game in the pre season friendlies, but he has trained more or less every day in pre season.”
Signing Colo to another year was key and it’s hard to fault him if Palace and maybe even some other clubs were offering him a three year deal.
But that issue has now been put to bed – at last – and maybe Colo will even start for us on Sunday against Southampton.
That wouldn’t be too much of a surprise now that we know what exactly has been going on.
What do you think?
Note: Two brothers Phil and Richard Milbourne are on a mission to cycle to all 92 Premier and Football League grounds in England and Wales during four weeks in July and August 2015.
They will be in Newcastle today – so see if you can help out a very good cause – you can read about their exploits and denote on their website pedalforpounds here.