Fabricio Coloccini looks set to leave Newcastle United this summer – after revealing he will hold talks with the club over his future.
Coloccini has another year left on his United contract after signing an extension to his deal just before the start of last season.
But the 34-year-old has again expressed a desire to return to Argentina, and will hold talks with Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle hierachy over his future.
Coloccini is among the highest-paid players at the club on an estimated £60,000 a week, but has been plagued by injury in recent months and played no part in Newcastle’s battle against relegation after picking up a calf injury in February which ruled him out for the rest of the season.
And – as he did three years ago – Coloccini he has revealed he would like to return to finish his career at his boyhood club San Lorenzo, citing family reasons as why he wants a return to Argentina.
He is quoted as saying: “I think today the chances are greater, because of the project they have in Newcastle and because of my age.
“Due to the club’s decline, they now point to a new plan with young people under 25 years. So it’s a matter of speaking and proposing an exit.
“At the moment I have in mind a return to Argentine football.
“I want to return to Argentine soccer, the priority is San Lorenzo because I’m a fan. I would like to fulfil the dream of entering the pitch with my kids and retire there.”
Coloccini tried to force through a move to San Lorenzo three years ago, but United blocked the move.
The cash-strapped Argentinian outfit were unable to afford a transfer fee or the centre-halves wages, but with Benitez now looking to remodel his squad ahead of a gruelling Championship campaign, the club could allow the veteran to leave on a free transfer.
Coloccini added: “When I wanted to go back a few years ago it did not depend 100 per cent on me.
“This time is also complicated because I have one more year of contract there, but I want (to leave).
“I enjoyed the years I was away, but the truth is I’m thinking about going back.
“My children are here in Argentina and I miss them a lot. That is one of the main reasons why I want to go back, to enjoy them.”
Newcastle are set to reveal their retained list this week, with centre-half Steven Taylor among the players to learn his future.
Taylor – the club’s longest-serving player – is out of contract and after struggling with form and fitness the last couple of seasons, is left sweating on whether he will be offered a new deal.
Benitez hopes to keep Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles next season, as well as signing another proven central defender, with QPR’s Steven Caulker linked with a move to St James’s Park.