Newcastle United will resist any attempt by Crystal Palace to sign Fabricio Coloccini – as the defender wants to finish his career at St James’s Park.
Coloccini hasn’t featured in pre-season because of an Achilles problem.
But head coach Steve McClaren has refused to rule Coloccini out of Sunday’s Premier League season-opener against Ronald Koeman’s Southampton.
Former Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is understood to be interested in taking his former captain – who has one year left on his contract – to Selhurst Park.
United, however, are unwilling to sell the 33-year-old to Palace.
And McClaren has revealed that Coloccini wants to “end his career” at the club he has served for the past seven years.
“I’ve spoken to him several times,” said McClaren, whose side were beaten 1-0 by Borussia Monchengladbach at St James’s Park on Saturday.
“He’s been seven years at Newcastle. He’s coming to the end of his career, and he wants to finish it here. I’ve said ‘great – that’ll do me’, because they’re words I like to hear.
“So let’s just get on the field and play now.”
It is not clear whether United are willing to offer Coloccini – who has struggled for form and fitness over the past two years – a contract extension to enable him to fulfil his privately-stated wish of finishing his career on Tyneside.
Pressed on Coloccini’s future, McClaren added: “Well, he’s got a year left on his contract, and Newcastle – it’s always his preferred choice
“I know there’s been a lot of speculation, but my indication is that he wants to stay here and take the club forward.”
Coloccini has been able to train “intermittently” over the past few weeks, according to McClaren.
And the 33-year-old will be assessed ahead of the Southampton game.
Asked if Coloccini had any chance of playing, McClaren said: “We’ll assess him each day and see how he trains. A lot of them still need work and minutes. We have to get working pretty quick.”
McClaren, however, does not plan to arrange a full-scale practice match for Coloccini.
He added: “I think the work that the majority of the squad have been doing, we’ll get that work in this week which we need to do.”