Cheick Tiote will be staying at Newcastle United despite wanting to move to China, according to reports on Tuesday afternoon.
The midfielder has been offered a package which would give him £70,000 a week take home pay, after tax has been accounted for.
The Mail say that a number of Chinese clubs including Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Beijing Guoan were willing to meet the player’s demands.
However, despite Newcastle having originally been more than willing to sell the player for £6m, that is said to be no longer the case and the club won’t allow any deal to go through, even though Cheick Tiote still allegedly wants to leave.
The reports say that there would be plenty of Chinese clubs still interested come the summer but by then Tiote will be 30 and only have 12 months of his contract remaining, costing Mike Ashley at least a few million on the transfer fee surely.
Obviously far larger amounts of money at stake with Newcastle’s Premier League status under threat, with Steve McClaren seemingly seeing a Shelvey/Tiote partnership as his preference recently.
The Chinese transfer window closes on Friday and it remains to be seen just what will happen with the player who travelled for talks with Shanghai Shenhua last month, only for no deal to be closed.
Cheick Tiote was one of 26 players who travelled to La Manga for the training camp, though he was one of only six players who weren’t either in the starting eleven or on the bench, with no explanation given by the club as to his absence.
With Newcastle desperate for defenders and strikers in January, it was a major surprise to see all three buys to be players who play across the middle of the pitch, including two central midfielders in Shelvey and Saivet, which added to an already congested area of the squad which also comprises Colback, Anita, Tiote, Wijnaldum and de Jong, whilst Moussa Sissoko also played centrally when at Toulouse.
So if Tiote does stay, then you would really really have to question the wisdom of spending the money on Saivet when other positions are so desperately short of both quality and numbers.