Steve McClaren has revealed the truth of what really has gone on with Fabricio Coloccini this summer, the Head Coach commenting following the NUFC official statement confirming that the Argentine international had been given an extended contract which takes him up to June 2017, by which time he will be 35.
At his first ever pre match press conference for a competitive Newcastle game, the Head Coach explained that Coloccini had had his head turned after somebody offered him a three year deal if he left United, which would have taken him well past his 36th birthday.
McClaren talked of a number of other clubs also registering an interest in the Newcastle Captain but the former England boss made specific reference to somebody who has denied having showing interest in Coloccini.
All of the media have taken this as a clear reference to Alan Pardew who had an official statement released by Crystal Palace on Wednesday denying there was any interest, something which Steve McClaren was keen to rubbish.
This has clearly been a massive extra problem that the Head Coach could have done without, especially with it only resolved a few days before the start of the season.
McClaren making reference to the fact that now ‘Colo is back on board’, which obviously infers that he hasn’t been on board in these summer months. Backing up the belief of many supporters that his absence from all seven pre season friendlies due to an ‘Achilles problem’, had a lot more to it than was being made public, especially as the Newcastle Captain has trained throughout most of pre season despite not playing.
“He has been captain here for seven years and there’s been speculation, people have denied it…but it is a fact – do not deny it, it is a fact.
“That has affected Colo in terms of somebody out there who has offered him a three year contract.”
Everybody wanted Coloccini:
“So it was a distraction and we went along with it and had to make a decision – I then asked a lot of people and the senior players, to a man everybody wanted Colo in the team.
“They respect him as a player as a man and as a captain and from then on it was quite simple just to sit down and go – ‘you know what, we want you’.”
Back on board:
“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.”
Trained every day:
“Coloccini hasn’t played a game (pre season friendlies) but he has trained more or less every day in pre season.”