Exclusive: Newcastle in turmoil as captain Fabricio Coloccini asks to return to Argentina

Alan Pardew's struggling side dealt another blow after defender signals intent to leave

Newcastle United have been rocked by the request of their captain, Fabricio Coloccini, to leave the club during the January transfer window. The 30-year-old told club officials today that he wanted to return home to Argentina.

His representatives flew to Tyneside for a meeting to tell the club that the player no longer felt he could stay and wished to leave before the end of the month. That is a massive blow to manager Alan Pardew's attempts to steer Newcastle away from the Premier League relegation zone. The club have won twice in their last 16 games and head to Norwich tomorrow without a league victory away from St James' Park this season.

Coloccini is currently the best paid player at St James' Park, on a salary of around £3m per year. He has become a hugely dependable and popular performer at the club and his display in the Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland earlier in the season brought comparisons to Bobby Moore from Pardew.

However, Coloccini's form has dipped recently and his father, Osvaldo, has expressed a wish for his son to be allowed to return home for what his agent called "personal matters". Newcastle must now decide whether to allow the £10m signing from Deportivo La Coruña in 2008 to leave during the transfer window. That may depend on whether they can find a replacement before the end of the month.

Coloccini signed a new four-year deal last year to stay at the club but the desire from the Argentina international now is to return home, possibly to join San Lorenzo, for whom he played for during the 2000-01 season and where his father is now employed. Osvaldo has admitted his son is eager to move back to the club for whom he played on loan from Milan for a season. Newcastle may have to consider the possibility of loaning the central defender to San Lorenzo, with the Argentinian side unlikely to be able to pay a major fee for a player who made the Premier League team of the year last season.

Pardew had provisionally included Coloccini in his squad for Newcastle's game at Carrow Road. But San Lorenzo's president, Matias Lammens, appears hopeful of securing a swift solution, having admitted today they are interested in signing him.

"Coloccini to San Lorenzo is the plan A, B and C," Lammens said. "He represents much more than football – he played here six months and was champion, his father works at the club and is a fan. The deadline is next week but we cannot do anything crazy with the budget."

After starting his professional career at Boca Juniors, Coloccini left the Buenos Aires giants for Milan in 1999. Although he remained on the books of the Italian club for five years, he spent almost the entire time out on loan in Argentina and Spain. Coloccini joined Newcastle in 2008 for £10.3m, with Pardew making him captain at the start of last season.

Captain Coloccini: Career factfile

Born 22 January, 1982, Cordoba

Club career

1998-99 Boca Juniors

1999-2004 Milan

2000-04 Loan spells at San Lorenzo, Alaves, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal

2004-08 Deportivo La Coruña

2008- Newcastle United n International career

International career

35 caps for Argentina, one goal

Honours

3x Argentina's Primera Division (1998, 1999, 2001)

1x Olympic gold (2004)

1x Championship (2010)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital