Steve McClaren has launched a veiled attack on Alan Pardew for unsettling Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini.
Coloccini today signed a one-year extension to his contract ahead of Sunday’s Premier League season-opener against Southampton.
There has been speculation. I know people deny it, but it is a fact. Don’t deny it – it is a fact.Steve McClaren
The long-serving defender’s deal now runs until the summer of 2017.
Pardew – who handed Coloccini the captain’s armband during his time at St James’s Park – had insisted 24 hours earlier that he had “no interest” in signing the 33-year-old.
However, McClaren says an unnamed club, understood to be Palace, had offered Coloccini a three-year contract.
“There has been speculation,” said McClaren. “I know people deny it, but it is a fact. Don’t deny it – it is a fact.
“That’s affected Colo in terms of somebody was out there offering him a three-year contract.”
Asked if Coloccini had been “close” to leaving Newcastle, McClaren added: “I think it was a distraction.
“We kind of went along with it and we had to make a decision. I asked a lot of people at the club – senior players – and to a man every one of them wanted Colo in the team.
“They respect him as a player, a man and as a captain. From then on, it was quite simple.
“From day one he always said to me ‘I want to finish my career here at Newcastle United, but there are three or four opportunities that I’ve got’.
“We had to make a statement, and the club have done that. Colo’s back on board.”
Coloccini could be passed fit to face Southampton despite missing all of the club’s pre-season fixtures with an Achilles problem.