McClaren: Pardew lied about Coloccini interest

The Crystal Palace manager made a statement denying interest in the defender earlier in the week, but his successor at Newcastle claims the links “went beyond speculation”

Newcastle manager has Steve McClaren labelled predecessor Alan Pardew and his Crystal Palace club as liars following comments regarding interest in Fabricio Coloccini.

Pardew moved to deny he had intentions of bringing the Argentina centre-back to Selhurst Park in a statement on Wednesday, but McClaren said the man he replaced at St James’ Park was lying.

Coloccini has since signed a one-year deal, with McClaren telling reporters: “It went beyond speculation. Although people deny it [Palace’s interest], it is a fact. Don’t deny it, it’s a fact.

“That’s affected ‘Colo’ in terms of there is somebody out there offering him a three-year contract. I think it was a distraction.”

Palace’s interest, according to McClaren, forced Newcastle to poll their players, with the votes overwhelmingly in favour of the defender, who debuted for his country in 2003.

“We went along with it [Palace’s interest] and had to make a decision,” McClaren added. “I asked a lot of people in the squad, the senior players, and to a man they said they wanted ‘Colo’ in the team.

“They respect him as a player, man and captain. From then on it was a case of sitting down and saying, ‘We want you to stay’.

“From day one he always said to me that he wanted to finish his career at Newcastle. We had to make a statement and ‘Colo’ is back on board.”