With the news that Fabricio Coloccini has informally requested to leave Newcastle United for ‘personal reasons’, the club’s woes look set to worsen as they face losing their captain who wishes to return to Argentina to be with his family.
How to replace such a key player and their most reliable defender is a conundrum boss Alan Pardew will avoid at all costs but, just in case, that nightmare becomes a reality, here are some feasible replacements.
Kolo Toure has fallen way down the pecking order at Manchester City and is looking for a way out of Eastlands. Currently on international duty with Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations, the 31-year-old has a wealth of experience in the Premier League with both City and former club Arsenal.
Due to his imminently expiring contract this summer, he could be available for less than £2 million.
Similarly, Stoke’s Matthew Upson, another former Gunner, is entering the last 6 months of his contract at the Britannia. The 33-year-old is not a regular starter for Stoke but could provide experienced cover to the Newcastle backline for next to nothing after he signed on a free transfer.
A player currently at Arsenal is French defender Sebastian Squillacci, despite having made just one Premier League appearance in 2 years for the North Londoners, is an experienced international whose played for a number of decent clubs (Monaco, Lyon, Sevilla and Arsenal). He’s been looking for a way out of the Emirates and could be available for well under £1 million.
Elsewhere in Europe, Barcelona youngster Marc Muniesa was tipped for stardom less a year ago. The 20-year-old signed a new deal with the Catalans and hoped to break through to the senior team but, after suffering an anterior cruciate injury, the Spanish giants are reluctant to renew his contract beyond this summer.
He could be available for around £4 million and, provided he remains fit, could be a great future star on Tyneside.
Finally, FC Twente rebel Douglas was linked with a move to Newcastle, Fulham and Reading last summer and his attitude has come in question again in recent months, leading to the club announcing they will listen to any offers for the 24-year-old.
He’s valued at £7 million and is considered Twente’s best centre-back. His contract also expires this summer and he Twente would sell him to pretty much anyone at this point – probably for a cut-price deal around £5 million.