Steve McClaren admits Fabricio Coloccini contract extension ended Newcastle pursuit of another defender

Fabricio Coloccini

Newcastle opted against signing a new defender after Fabricio Coloccini signed a new contract.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Steve McClaren has admitted he looked at signing a new centre-back this summer, before Fabricio Coloccini penned a new contract to tie his future down at St James’ Park.

McClaren said: “There was a point in the summer where we thought he might well be going. There were offers on the table, but the club has done great to address that situation and keep him. We looked around at various defenders when his position was in doubt, but we quickly decided that none of them matched up.”

The Magpies did bring in one defender over the summer transfer window, signing Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht, who has impressed so far this campaign.

Playing both as a centre-back and full-back, the Congolese international looks to have all the makings of a top class defender.

However, many fans wanted another centre-half brought in, alongside Mbemba. Coloccini had struggled last season, and it was hard to imagine he could cope with the Premier League again, but the club still offered him a new contract and the continuation of the captain’s armband.

And whilst that disappointed fans during the summer, Coloccini has started this season in top form, and he once again looks the top class player he used to be.

The Argentine centre-back was named man of the match after the 0-0 draw with Manchester United, after a performance characterised by leadership, defensive solidity, and a number of last ditch tackles which kept the Magpies in the game.

Admittedly, Newcastle still lack depth in the defensive positions, and it is hard to see how they will cope if one of Steven Taylor, Mbemba or Coloccini get injured. The decision to reward Coloccini with a new contract looks to be paying off so far, but if McClaren was wise, he would look to sign one more defender before the transfer window closes at the end of this month.

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