FABRICIO Coloccini’s commitment to Newcastle United has never been in question, according to manager Alan Pardew.
The club’s influential captain returned to training this week ahead this evening’s home game against Liverpool.
Coloccini is not certain to be involved given that he has been out for more than two months with a back problem, despite impressing Pardew with his fitness.
The 31-year-old told Newcastle he wanted to leave in January because of what Pardew has described as a “personal issue”.
And he was allowed to return to his native Argentina to spend time with his family by United in the early part of his rehabilitation.
However, Pardew’s adamant that his “professionalism” – on and off the pitch – hasn’t been in question over the past few months.
“He’s been out seven weeks, (and his conditioning) is a real tribute to his professionalism,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“Some of the rumours about him have been really way off the mark and unfair on his professionalism.
“This is a player who is desperate (to play) for this football club. I don’t care what people think has gone on.
“He had a personal issue, but every time he trains and plays for us, he’s top class.”
Coloccini and his representative will hold further talks with Newcastle over his future at the end of the season.
Argentinian club San Lorenzo, where his father Osvaldo is a youth-team coach, are keen to sign him, but they don’t have the money to buy him.