Martin Hardy of The Independent is reporting that Fabricio Coloccini is ready to desert his contract and quit football altogether if Newcastle do not release him to Argentinean club San Lorenzo. Newcastle fans had earlier today been treated with the news that NUFC had decided not to sell him until the end of the season, but if this report is correct, Colo will not be suiting up again regardless.
Here's the meat of Hardy's report:
Talks had taken place earlier this week between Coloccini's representatives and officials from Newcastle in a bid to broker a peace deal where the central defender would stay at St James' Park until the end of the season, at which point his position would be reassessed.
However, after extensive discussions they failed to reach agreement and now the player is set to quit.
There are a couple of things that make me doubt the veracity of this report:
1) The only quotes contained in the article come from an official statement by San Lorenzo and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Here's a partial list of people who didn't comment: Coloccini, Coloccini's father, Coloccini's wife, Coloccini's rumored mistress (seriously?), anybody from Newcastle United, anybody who might have knowledge of the situation. It's possible that one of them spoke off the record, but where's the upside in that? Why leak information that would be better off disseminated in a carefully worded statement?
2) Nobody else is running with this story. In a world where page clicks are dollars and papers are too happy to publish a headline and two sentences of supporting text, The Independent is the only one with this scoop. Both Lee Ryder and Marc Duffy have responded to queries on Twitter, denying any knowledge of the information contained the report. That doesn't make it false by any stretch, but it's a very curious development.
Newcastle have scheduled a press conference for Thursday morning, which is sure to make people nervous. Don't forget that new signing Yoan Gouffron has not been formally introduced yet. It's likely that, and that alone, is the purpose of the press conference.
Okay, but what if it's true? Then it appears that Newcastle have the luxury of another week to find a replacement. I don't want Coloccini to walk out on the club, but if he's going to do it, at least he hasn't waited until February. It's clear that there's something in his personal life that is distracting him, and if he wants out, is there any upside in forcing him to stay?