FABRICIO Coloccini’s future at Newcastle United is unlikely to be decided before Saturday’s home game against Reading.
Coloccini has told the club he wants to return to his native Argentina in this month’s transfer window.
Talks had been planned this week with the club’s captain, who wants to leave for what have been described as “personal matters”.
However, it is understood the meeting between Coloccini, his agent and Newcastle’s hierarchy might not be held until early next week, with the Argentina international likely to lead the club against Reading in the meantime.
Newcastle hope to persuade Coloccini to stay until the end of the season, when the situation could be reassessed.
The club is understandably unwilling to write off its investment in the influential defender – who signed a new four-year deal last season – and allow him to join Argentinian club San Lorenzo, who are hopeful his contract will be “rescinded”.
The 30-year-old has trained normally with his colleagues ahead of the Reading game, which fans are hoping will not prove to be his final appearance at St James’s Park.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are in talks with French club Nancy over left-back Massadio Haidara.
The club has tabled a bid for the 20-year-old, who has also been linked with Tottenham Hotspur.
Newcastle are looking to strengthen what Pardew has termed the “underbelly” of a squad, which has been found wanting this season, and Haidara would offer competition to Premier League ever-present Davide Santon.
Ajax captain Siem De Jong, 23, is understood to be a longer-term target for Newcastle, who could move for the midfielder in the summer.
Meanwhile, QPR manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed Newcastle target Loic Remy is set to join the club after completing a medical yesterday.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, though, could be boosted by the return of Steven Taylor against Reading.
The defender has been out since suffering a hamstring problem in November.
The 26-year-old has been keenly missed by Newcastle over the past six weeks, and his return is timely for the club, which is without a win in four Premier League games, and just two points above the relegation zone.
Pardew had hoped to have Taylor in his squad for last weekend’s visit to Carrow Road. But the game came too soon for the centre-half, whose career has been blighted by injury in recent seasons.
Taylor ruptured his Achilles last season after hitting form alongside Coloccini.
Coloccini and Taylor trained yesterday and Pardew will have to decide whether Taylor – who has missed the last 11 games – should make his comeback from the bench – or in the starting XI.