• Coloccini desperate to return to Argentina for personal reasons
• Defender is prepared to take pay cut on £60,000-a-week wages
Fabricio Coloccini has caused consternation at Newcastle United by telling Alan Pardew that he wants to leave St James' Park as soon as possible in order to return to South America, and preferably his native Argentina, for personal reasons.
Although the Newcastle captain has not submitted a formal transfer request and was included in the squad who travelled to Norfolk for 's game at Norwich, Coloccini is adamant that a crisis in his personal life means he can no longer remain on Tyneside.
Anxious not to lose such a key player at a time when they are facing a relegation battle, Newcastle will spend the next few days talking the situation through with the 30-year-old Argentina centre-half to see if a resolution can be reached whereby he remains at least until the end of the season.
Newcastle's best paid player on around £60,000 a week, Coloccini, right signed a four-year contract extension last March following prolonged negotiations. In recent weeks he has struggled to reprise last season's outstanding displays and last month he fell out with his manager. Pardew revealed that the pair had argued prior to Christmas before making up, but the current problems are understood not to involve football and merely reflect the player's desperation to be close to his family in Argentina.
It is thought the defender would be willing to take a considerable pay cut in order to return home and his representatives have flown to Newcastle from South America in order to thrash out an exit strategy. While Coloccini has been struggling on the pitch lately, his dressing-room authority may have been eroded a little by a power base involving Demba Ba – now at Chelsea – and Yohan Cabaye, but slight tensions between the squad's French and Spanish speaking players are not believed to be central to his current unhappiness.
Rumours of Coloccini's unrest surfaced when his father Osvaldo revealed on South American television that the Argentinian club San Lorenzo were keen to recruit him and, with Newcastle bound to place a high transfer fee on his head, it is not impossible that he could join them on loan until the end of the season.
Osvaldo works for San Lorenzo and the club's president, Matías Lammens, appears keen to reunite father and son. "Coloccini to San Lorenzo is our Plan A, B and C," he said. "Our transfer deadline is next week and we cannot do anything crazy with the budget, but Coloccini to San Lorenzo represents much more than football."
More immediately, Pardew, still without the hamstrung Steven Taylor in defence and still striving to replace Ba in attack, must decide whether Coloccini is in the right frame of mind to play at Carrow Road.