Steve McClaren says interest in Fabricio Coloccini “hindered” his pre-season preparations at Newcastle United.
The club’s captain has signed a one-year extension to his contract keeping him at St James’s Park until the summer of 2017.
Coloccini – who had been a target for former United manager Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace – missed all of the club’s warm-up fixtures because of an Achilles problem.
However, head coach Steve McClaren felt uncertainty over his future had also held him back in pre-season.
“There was interest in him which went beyond speculation,” said McClaren.
“That hindered Colo’s preparation. It had gone on too long. Luckily, the club sat down with him.
“I wanted him here, and the senior group wanted him here. It was easy to sit him down and extend his contract. Hopefully, he’ll finish his career here.”
On his fitness ahead of Sunday’s Premier League season-opener against Southampton, McClaren added: “He’s done the majority of training, but not played in games.
“A decision will have to be made on Sunday.”