Skipper Fabricio Coloccini has moved to end speculation over his future by insisting he will remain a Newcastle player next season.
The 32-year-old central defender looked to be heading away from Tyneside when he asked to leave because of personal problems in January last year.
However, the Argentina international was held to the four-year contract extension he had signed in March 2012 by the Magpies and, despite suggestions that he would look to end his stay in England this summer, he has signalled his intention to stay.
Coloccini told the Shields Gazette: "For sure. I'm going to be here."
The news represents a boost for beleaguered managed Alan Pardew, who is already facing a significant rebuilding job after a difficult season.
He told Press Association Sport: "He is a Newcastle player and he will be next year."
Who could replace Alan Pardew if the Newcastle manager is sacked?
Who could replace Alan Pardew if the Newcastle manager is sacked?
1/10 Steve Bruce
Bruce has drawn plaudits for the way he has led Hull City in their first season back in the Premier League, with an FA Cup final still to come after a successful cup run. His performance this year has even led to Arsene Wenger, the man he will go up against at Wembley when Hull take on Arsenal, claiming he should be considered for the manager of the year award. Talk of a dearth of English managerial talent could be laid to rest if Bruce wins the prestigious trophy, and a call from Tyneside could follow soon after
2/10 Tony Pulis
Pulis’ resurrection of Crystal Palace has been nothing short of magical, with the Eagles appearing to be doomed when Ian Holloway left the club. The former Stoke manager has installed a calm and controlled style of play that has his players full of belief – exactly what Newcastle lack right now under Pardew, and Pulis’ credentials over the past few months have certainly improved which could lead to interest from those clubs (not much) higher up the league
3/10 Malky Mackay
The discarded Cardiff manager has been unable to assume a new job while his legal dispute with his former club goes on, but a number of sides are said to be interested in Mackay’s services when he becomes available. While he remains the favourite to take over at his former club Norwich, he could yet find himself at St James’ Park, although the accusations from the Welsh capital of overspending in the transfer window won’t suit Magpies’ owner Ashley
4/10 Michael Laudrup
Laudrup has remained quiet since Swansea chose to make do with his services in favour of Garry Monk back in February, but the Dane has been linked with a move to St James’ Park and he may favour a return to managing in England
5/10 Lee Clark
The former Newcastle great is currently struggling to keep Birmingham afloat in the Championship, with the Blues requiring four points from their final two matches to ensure they beat Doncaster in the battle for survival. Relegation to League One wouldn’t do his application any good at all, but a reluctance of other managers to take the post could see a return to St James’ Park for the former midfielder
6/10 Roberto Di Matteo
Di Matteo is another who has stayed out of the managerial game since his dismissal by Chelsea, in 2012, but despite being constantly linked with a return with a number of clubs, has refrained from rushing any decision. That’s hardly surprising, as the Italian is one of few managers available with a Champions League winners’ medal among his collection
7/10 Glenn Hoddle
Hoddle has turned his hand to TV punditry, although this has provided him with the platform to push his suitability for a return to former club Tottenham. It is clear that Hoddle is ready for a return to management, but whether that is with Newcastle is unknown. An approach is likely to be listened to by Hoddle, but it’s been 11 years since the former England manager last held a role in the Premier League
8/10 Joe Kinnear
Never far from being linked with a Newcastle return, Kinnear can’t be ruled out when it comes to Mike Ashley. The 67-year-old left his previous role as Newcastle manager in 2009 due to a health scare, but made a stunning return last year as the club’s director of football to deal with the club’s transfer activity. Two transfer windows, two loan signings and no permanent signings later, Kinnear left the club for a second time earlier this year
9/10 Neil Lennon
The Celtic manager would be an unlikely candidate for the Magpies role, but the chance to test himself in the Premier League would surely appeal to the Northern Irishman after winning everything that Scottish football has to offer. A chance of scenery could also suit Lennon given the intense pressure of managing Celtic – although the winning part isn’t the hardest job in the world – but he would be giving up near-on guaranteed Champions league football for a run at Europa League qualification
10/10 Tim Sherwood
The former Watford, Norwich, Blackburn, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Coventry midfielder looks set to be out of t a job in the summer should Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy wield the expected axe at White Hart Lane. A number of clubs in the Premier League have been linked with offering Sherwood a chance to continue his managerial career in the Premier League, and a no-nonsense approach to the Newcastle squad could be exactly what the doctor ordered on Tyneside
Coloccini played in Saturday's 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Cardiff as Newcastle ended a run of six successive defeats, with unhappy fans making their feelings abundantly clear.
He turned in one of his better performances in recent weeks to remind supporters of the form which made him a favourite, prompting such concern when he expressed a desire to be allowed to return to South America.
Argentinian club San Lorenzo waged a very public campaign to lure Coloccini home, but could not come up with the kind of finance they needed to persuade the Magpies to do business and it was left to Pardew to delicately re-integrate the player and help him through the issues behind his request.
Coloccini said: "I had personal problems. Sometimes it's tough. You have to decide between the problems and the work.
"Sometimes it's too difficult. Now it's finished and next season, I will be here. I'm looking forward to improving.
"We want the best for Newcastle United. This season, we finished top 10, and maybe we will bring some players [in the summer].
"We will try to do well and finish in the top eight or something like that. We will always try to improve."
Crystal Palace's remarkable fightback against Liverpool on Monday night was not enough to maintain their faint hopes of forcing their way ahead of Newcastle in the league table as the final round of fixtures approaches and that means Pardew's men will finish in the top 10, the point at which staff bonuses will be paid.
They are currently in ninth place, but could yet be overtaken by Stoke on the final day, when they head for Anfield.
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