San Lorenzo fail to lure Coloccini
Newcastle's hopes of keeping hold of captain Fabricio Coloccini have received a major boost after Argentinian club San Lorenzo announced he will not be joining them.
Magpies officials have been locked in talks with Coloccini's representatives this week after the defender stated his desire to return to the club where his father, Osvaldo, is currently a youth coach.
However, on the day Newcastle unveiled new signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, seen by many as a potential replacement for Coloccini, San Lorenzo stated via their official Twitter feed that their move for the former Deportivo La Coruna centre-back was off. The Argentinian club tweeted: "Finally, after long negotiations, we announce that Fabricio Coloccini will not join the roster of San Lorenzo."
They added: "It is not possible to release the Newcastle player.. and therefore the club will look for another alternative to strengthen the defence."
Coloccini's future remains unclear given his desire, stated by his father, to return to Argentina for "personal reasons". Newcastle have refused to comment on the situation regarding Coloccini.
But boss Alan Pardew, whose transfer market frustration has significantly eased this week, must now hope he can at least persuade Coloccini to stay at St James's Park until the end of the season.
Former Montpellier captain Yanga-Mbiwa met his new team-mates for the first time on Wednesday after completing his reported £6.7million move from the French club - with more compatriots set to follow. Bordeaux striker Yoan Gouffran and Nancy defender Massadio Haidara are also both poised to confirm deals.
Yanga-Mbiwa insisted he is undaunted at the prospect of swapping reigning Ligue 1 champions Montpellier for a side languishing just two points above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.
Yanga-Mbiwa said: "I don't think it is a concern at the moment. Newcastle is a massive club and while we are not in an ideal position at the moment, I think we can definitely finish in the top half of the table.
"In the long term people talk about the top four in the Premier League and I think with the players we have got on board and the manager and his ideas, we can definitely close the gap, get in the top six and, in the long term, why not challenge for the title?"