Coloccini a contender to succeed Pardew at Newcastle

Fabricio Coloccini could be handed the chance to succeed Alan Pardew at Newcastle United should the current manager replace Neil Warnock at Crystal Palace, the Independent has reported.

Pardew is understood to be close to making a return to Selhurst Park, having played for the Eagles in the early 1990s, after Warnock was sacked following a Boxing Day defeat to Southampton which left the club in the Premier League’s bottom three. Keith Millen has taken over as caretaker but Pardew is thought to be in the frame for the permanent job.

Should Pardew quit his current post then Coloccini could be installed as his replacement. The veteran defender has been at Newcastle for more than six years and was named the club captain three years ago. A £10m signing from Deportivo La Coruna, Coloccini stayed with the Magpies when they were relegated from the top flight and helped the club return at the first time of asking.

Coloccini was keen to leave Newcastle to return to Argentina a year ago but was convinced to stay and is under contract until 2016. It’s been suggested that part of the agreement that kept him at the club involved discussion over one day becoming manager and his close relationship with owner Mike Ashley is also a factor.

The 32-year-old could at first be installed as interim manager, while still on the books as a player, and a new contract would be agreed to reflect his changing status. Coloccini has to date made more than 200 appearances for Newcastle, scoring six goals.

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