Coloccini content with Newcastle stay

The Argentina international defender previously sought a move home to San Lorenzo, but explained that after discussions with his family he is now settled in the North East
Fabricio Coloccini announced he is now settled again at Newcastle after previously seeking a move back to San Lorenzo in Argentina following personal problems.

The Argentina international’s decision to submit a transfer request in January caused much disruption with the Magpies mired deep in a relegation battle.

But he admits the support of the fans has now helped him decide to stay on Tyneside for the foreseeable future.

"As you know, I had personal problems. I spoke with my family this summer and had to take a decision," he told The Guardian.

"I told them I've worked all my life to have my dream of playing at the top level of football. It was a difficult conversation but they could understand that and that's why I'm here now. I made my decision in the middle of the holidays," he explained.

"I am here now and I am happy. My relationship with Newcastle was very important in making my decision. All the fans in the street, when they stopped me, they asked me to stay and those things sometimes make the difference.

"Newcastle is a special club for me, of course. I've supported San Lorenzo since I was small but I feel something for Newcastle now. I've been here five years and the fans are amazing. I have a contract for a long time here and hopefully I can see out that contract."

Coloccini also revealed he spoke to Pope Francis about their shared support for San Lorenzo when he met him on international duty against Italy last week.

"I knew Pope Francis was a San Lorenzo fan," he added. "He has a season ticket and everything. You could tell he still really loves San Lorenzo when he spoke with us last week.

"I shook hands with him. He is always speaking about San Lorenzo and so for me as a fan it was amazing."

The defender could face international team-mate Sergio Aguero in attack for Manchester City on Monday evening, and joked he might have to bend the laws of the game to deal with the 25-year-old.

"Sergio's very good. He's a good man and a fantastic player. I'm good friends with him," he continued.

"How we can stop him is difficult to say because he is a top player and can do what he wants every time. We may have to give him a little kick."