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Coloccini to stay at Newcastle as Gouffran deal is done
FABRICIO Coloccini is set to stay at Newcastle United this month after Argentinian club San Lorenzo admitted they had been unable to agree a deal for the centre-half.
On another busy day on Tyneside, the Magpies confirmed the £1.5m signing of striker Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux and completed the capture of full-back Massadio Haidara, who will become the tenth French player on the club's books when he is formally unveiled this morning.
Talks with the representatives of midfielder Moussa Sissoko remain ongoing, but arguably the most significant development of the last 24 hours relates to Coloccini.
Having expressed a desire to return to his native Argentina earlier this month because of personal reasons, the Newcastle skipper has spent the last three days locked in talks with Magpies managing director Derek Llambias and members of the club's legal team.
Coloccini's representatives were attempting to engineer the defender's transfer to San Lorenzo, even though the Argentinian club could not afford to pay anything like the £10m Newcastle shelled out to sign him from Deportivo La Coruna in 2008. It is understood that £7m is regarded as an absolute minimum requirement for the Magpies.
At various stages of the negotiations, a mutual cancellation of Coloccini's contract was also discussed.
However, Newcastle officials are adamant they will not be left out of pocket if their captain returns to Argentina, and the 31-year-old has been unable to come up with a financial package that would be acceptable to his current employers.
As a result, talks broke off yesterday without a resolution and San Lorenzo were forced to issue an official statement that confirmed their failure to secure Coloccini, who spent a brief period on loan at the club from AC Milan more than a decade ago.
The statement said: "Finally, after long negotiations, we announce that Fabricio Coloccini will not join the squad of San Lorenzo.
"It was not possible to release the Newcastle player for this month and therefore the club will look for another alternative to strengthen the defence."
Quite where that leaves Coloccini remains to be seen, although Alan Pardew will be told the defender is available for selection unless his situation changes again ahead of next Thursday's transfer deadline.
The arrival of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has enhanced Pardew's defensive options, but a fit and focused Coloccini would still be a major asset as Newcastle attempt to haul themselves away from relegation trouble.
The skipper delivered an accomplished display at Norwich in the first game after news of his desire to leave Newcastle became public, and it is hoped he will now accept it is in his best interests to give his all in the second half of the season before entering into another round of talks over his future in the summer.
His partnership with Yanga-Mbiwa has the potential to be a success, and after shelling out £6.7m to sign the French centre-half from Montpellier on Tuesday, Newcastle will take their January spending beyond the £16m mark this morning.
Gouffran, who will wear the number 11 shirt, has signed a four-and-a-half year deal at St James' Park. Equally comfortable as an orthodox centre-forward or in a wide attacking role, the 26-year-old scored 40 goals in his 179 appearances for Bordeaux.
“I am really proud to have joined this fantastic club,” said Gouffran. “Throughout the last few years I have enjoyed every moment of my time at Bordeaux, but all good things must come to an end and it was time for a new challenge.
“And the challenge of playing for one of the most famous teams in England, with all of its history and its famous support, is very exciting.”
Pardew added: “Yoan comes to the club with a great pedigree and, like the other signings we have made this month, is a player who will add considerable strength to our squad.
“I liked the look of him when we played Bordeaux at St James' Park earlier this season – pacy, direct and intelligent, and those are qualities I like in a footballer.”
Haidara will complete a £2.5m move from Nancy after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms yesterday.
The 20-year-old full-back, who is a France under-21 international of Senegalese descent, made his senior debut for Nancy in December 2010 and has amassed almost 50 Ligue 1 appearances for the club.