Cheick Tiote has been put up for sale by Newcastle United according to reports this morning.
Sky Sports say that club sources have informed them that the Ivory Coast midfielder will be ‘allowed to leave’ this month.
(Sky Sports have been tipped off by the club first with both Saivet and Shelvey signing as they look once again to be the preferred medium of communcation, so you can only presume this is close to the mark).
Cheick Tiote had a half decent game against Manchester United last night and was certainly more effective than Jack Colback, who was poor. However, Tiote looked knackered for the last half hour but McClaren had little choice but to keep him on until the last few minutes, due to no viable options on the bench.
With Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet both arriving, the vast majority of supporters have already assumed that the club would try to offload Cheick Tiote to balance the books a little.
As one of the biggest wage earners at the club and turning 30 in the summer with just one year remaining on his contract, this is surely the last chance for Mike Ashley to get any sort of decent fee for the player.
Yesterday morning, Newcastle were claimed to be considering an £8million offer from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, the Chinese club already have former Newcastle striker Demba Ba on their books, with another high profile player being Tim Cahill, once of Everton.
Talks of a potential £8m fee are surely vastly inflated even in this current market and Ashley will surely settle for something around half that figure for a player who has had increasing problems with injury and form.
Back in the day his partnership with Yohan Cabaye was one of the best in the Premier League but it definitely now looks time to move on.
Steve McClaren was put on the spot after the match last night and asked whether the 3-3 draw with Manchester United had been Cheick Tiote’s last match for Newcastle, to which he replied:
“We are not too sure about that…and as I said before, when something happens we’ll announce it and let you know.
“But I do think he has been very very good the last two or three games.”