Pardew key to Coloccini staying at Newcastle United

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CAPTAIN Fabricio Coloccini only committed his future to Newcastle United after manager Alan Pardew’s intervention.

The Argentine was expected to quit the club this summer to return to his homeland.

The defender had initially wanted to move back to Argentina in the summer, but Newcastle held firm and told him he had to see out the rest of the season and help them avoid relegation.

Coloccini did just that, returning after a back injury to steady the ship and help pull the team together after their dispiriting home trouncings against Sunderland and Liverpool.

It was thought to be his final act as a Newcastle player but Pardew - desperate to retain one of his key allies in the dressing room - pulled out all the stops to keep his skipper at the club for at least another season.

Coloccini and Pardew have always had a good relationship ever since the centre-half was handed the armband by his manager after Kevin Nolan’s departure to West Ham two years ago.

Coloccini said: “The manager has always been a great supporter of me, he’s always been there for me during difficult times.”

Pardew kept in constant contact with Coloccini after the season finished and the player flew back to Argentina, and it was that input that helped persuade the player to stay loyal to the club.

The 31-year-old had been sought by former club San Lorenzo - where his father is one of the directors.

But he revealed last week: “I’m not going to move to San Lorenzo now because Newcastle don’t want me to go. I have to respect that decision.

“I’m a grateful person and Newcastle have given me the opportunity of playing in the Premier League, which is the elite of football — so I will stay at Newcastle.”

Despite being one of the less vocal members of the squad, Coloccini is extremely influential in the dressing room and Pardew - having lost a boardroom ally in Derek Llambias, who quit as managing director last week - is delighted to have retained the services of his skipper.