Fabricio Coloccini’s long Newcastle United career is all but over – with the club’s captain set to return to Argentina.
And Coloccini’s departure could be confirmed in the next 24 hours.
San Lorenzo are in advanced talked with Newcastle over a move for the 34-year-old, who has a year left on his lucrative St James’s Park contract.
Coloccini went public earlier in the summer with his keenness to return to his homeland – and United manager Rafa Benitez will not stand in his way.
“With the relegation, they are pointing to a new plan with young people under 25 years old,” said Coloccini, who has spent the past eight years at the club.
“So it is a matter of talking and then proposing to them my exit.
“At the moment, I have in mind going back to Argentine football.
“I want to go back to San Lorenzo and fulfil the dream of entering the pitch with my kids and retire there.”
Newcastle have made no comment on the discussions with Coloccini and San Lorenzo, but it is understood the defender’s departure is close to being finalised.
The Argentina international signed an extension to his contract last summer after missing all the club’s pre-season programme with a niggling injury.
Coloccini went on to play 26 Premier League games before suffering a thigh problem in February which would keep him out for the rest of the season.
If, as expected, Coloccini leaves this week, Newcastle – who have drawn up a list of defensive targets – will look to quickly sign a replacement.
The club has already signed forward Dwight Gayle, midfielder Matt Ritchie and goalkeeper Matz Sels in this summer’s transfer window.