Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has no doubts over captain Fabricio Coloccini’s commitment to the club.
The Argentinian looked set to leave in January after requesting a transfer, citing personal reasons behind his wish to leave, but remained at St James’ Park after a potential move to San Lorenzo failed to materialise.
Pardew has held a number of discussions with the 31-year-old defender in the close-season, and revealed that the ex-Milan man is eager to enjoy great success with Newcastle next term and has ambitions to play for Argentina in next year’s FIFA World Cup.
“Colo made it very clear in the summer that he is coming back to play this season,” Pardew told The Newcastle Evening Chronicle. “He really has the bit between his teeth.
“He wants to play in the World Cup in Brazil, not to mention Newcastle United’s season.
“Me and him have had a lot of discussions about last year and they were very constructive, I have to say.
“He wants to come back, and he wants to lead us. He showed at the back end of last year how important he is to us. When he played, we looked a different team.”
Pardew recently criticised Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc for publicly declaring his interest in midfielder Yohan Cabaye, insisting that the France international is not for sale.
The 50-year-old reasserted that stance, and stressed that only a big offer could convince the club to part ways with Cabaye.
He told The Journal: “The bottom line is: he’s got a three-year contract with us still to run and I expect him to be a big part of our season next year. Hopefully, he will be.
“He’s still very much in my plans, but like any player at any club, there is a price (that the club would accept) – but it’s going to be a very high price.”