Newcastle United‘s poor 2012-13 season has taken yet another negative twist as their captain and central defender, Fabricio Coloccini, has stated he wants to leave the club this January.
The 30-year old has said that he wants to leave for personal reasons, with a return to his home country Argentina expected to be the main reason, although he has not handed in a formal transfer request as of yet.
Coloccini has become one of the most reliable figures in the Newcastle team, especially this season where the other defenders have been poor.
He was made captain in 2011 having established himself as one of the Premier League‘s most impressive defenders; but, it now appears he is asking to leave – and soon.
Newcastle will hold talks in the coming days in an attempt to keep him at the club and resolve the issue. However, it is believed it is too late for such action, with the Argentina defender’s mind already made up.
Coloccini, who moved to St James’ Park from Deportivo La Coruna in 2008 for £10m, is the highest paid player at the club, with a current £60,000 a week a deal which ends this summer. Coloccini is believed to be unhappy with the club and life in England, and sees a move to Argentina (where he began his career, with Boca Juniors) as a more suitable situation.
If he really does desire a move away from the club, then now would probably be the right time for the club, as Newcastle can cash in rather than allow him to leave on a free in the summer.
The news comes just a week after striker Demba Ba departed to Chelsea for a fee around £7m.
It signals a real drop in hope and fortunes for the Magpies, who now sit a disastrous 15th, just 2 points above the relegation zone – a massive contrast to last season’s 5th place success.
Newcastle are now set to lose another key figure, and the momentum and expectation that was created through manager Alan Pardew‘s success last year is rapidly fading away.
The club did confirm the signing of 27-year old French right back Mathieu Debuchy recently, which is an impressive addition; but, if Coloccini is to follow Senegal striker Demba Ba out the door, then the pressure will be really piling on both owner Mike Ashley and Pardew – who signed a new 8-year contract in the summer.
The news will really rock the Newcastle side in a negative manner ahead of their Premier League fixture away at Norwich this weekend.
Whether Newcastle can change their captain’s mind remains to be seen, but the chances look very slim.
It highlights the descent in which Newcastle are now in, and for me, that 8-year contract for Pardew is looking so very, very bizarre. Although the blame for this may not be anyone of than the personal crisis of Coloccini, it is a massive blow for the club.
Follow Stowe Gregory @stowegregory