FABRICIO Coloccini has warned his domestic problems have been put on the backburner, rather than been solved.
And while the Newcastle United captain insists he is not thinking about what he will do at the end of the season, he seems likely to once more push for a move to Argentina.
The Magpies were thrown into disarray in January when news leaked out via the central defender’s father Osvaldo that Coloccini wanted to leave, despite having only signed a new contract last season. After much discussion, Newcastle persuaded him to see the season out and review the situation then.
But while the defender remains totally committed to the club, he also stressed the unspecified domestic reasons which made him ask to go have not been resolved.
“I had found a home to live in to be with my family in Newcastle,” he said from Sweden, where Argentina play a friendly tonight. “I had already prepared everything so I could spend the four years I had left with Newcastle.
“After this though the problems arose and I asked Newcastle to let me go as I needed to be in Argentina.
“I’m not thinking about what happens in May/June because I want to totally concentrate on Newcastle. I owe them that for the trust they have placed in me for five years and I want to give my best on the pitch, then we’ll see later.
“Newcastle have treated me in a great way and I am grateful to this day to the people, the fans and the club. The only situation was I needed to return to Argentina for personal reasons.
“That need to return to Argentina still remains.”
While losing Coloccini in the summer would still be a massive blow to Newcastle morale, they will at least be better able to cope for having bought themselves some time.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is a highly-rated central defender called into France’s squad for tonight’s friendly with Germany. And among his qualities the leadership shown by the former Montpellier captain is often mentioned.
Half a season to allow Yanga-Mbiwa to adapt to English football will certainly help, although Newcastle must decide between the 23-year-old and right-back Mathieu Debuchy as to who will be the third player added to their Europa League squad alongside Moussa Sissoko and Massadio Haïdara.
Yoan Gouffran is cup-tied, having played against Newcastle for Bordeaux. Clubs are only allowed to add three players who have played in European competitions this season, and only one who has appeared in the Champions League, as Debuchy and Yanga-Mbiwa have.
What would also mitigate Coloccini’s departure would be keeping his partner Steven Taylor injury-free. It is something that has proved beyond the club for some time, and something they are keen to address.
“He’s an outstanding player,” manager Alan Pardew said of the home-grown centre-back. “The only downside has been the injuries, that’s where you have to slightly have a disappointment with him, that he’s just not played enough games in his career here.
“I am very, very conscious, with him and with my staff, that we protect him and try to give him a different regime where hopefully we can keep him fit – because when he is fit, there are not many better.”
Meanwhile, Sissoko believes the English game is the perfect stage to show off his attacking talents.
The former Toulouse player has been used as the Magpies’ most forward-thinking midfielder in his two appearances to date, and has responded with two goals and an assist.
“Toulouse are a good team with quality players but going forward sometimes we experienced difficulties,” he explained.
“English football is made for me. I’ve thought that for a while. I know I will often be in a position to score, just like last weekend.
“It is the same in the France team. I feel better and better. At first, I didn’t dare to take risks – I just did control and pass. Nowadays if I have to dribble, I do it.”