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The 31-year-old skipper claims he nearly tried to force through a move back to Argentina in January but says he is now determined to keep the Magpies in the top flight.

Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini says he considered quitting the club as he sought a move back to Argentina in January.

The 31-year-old club captain looked as if he was heading for the exit door and a return to former club San Lorenzo after revealing that he was homesick and wanted to leave the club for personal reasons.

However, the club managed to convince Coloccini to stay at least until the end of the season and he has since praised the Magpies for the way they handled the situation with the Toon skipper now fully focused on helping the club move away from the relegation zone.

"I thought about walking out, but I changed my mind," he told reporters."It wasn't about the money. There were personal reasons but the club and manager have been great.

"I've been away from home for 13 years and I miss it. Now is about Newcastle United staying up... and we will. I love Newcastle United as a whole. I captain a huge club and I'm fully focused on helping to stay up."

Alan Pardew's side currently sits in 15th place in the league table, six points above the drop zone after clinching back-to-back wins over Chelsea and Aston Villa in the last week.

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