It was yesterday confirmed by Sky Sports that bids for Newcastle United’s Florian Thauvin and Cheick Tiote had been turned down.
Not due to United not wanting to sell but because the bids weren’t high enough.
Whilst the Lazio offer for Florian Thauvin has been said to be well wide of the mark, the Al Jazira valuation of Cheick Tiote is reported to be not too far away from what Newcastle are asking for.
With only 11 months left on his contract before he could leave as a free agent, the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National say that they understand Al Jazira have offered £800,000 for the Ivory Coast international.
However, they say that contrary to reports elsewhere, Newcastle aren’t looking for anything like £4m, but are content to take a much smaller amount that is relatively close to Al Jazira’s opening bid.
As one of Newcastle’s top earners but who doesn’t feature in Rafa Benitez’ first team plans, United would be more than happy to get him off the wage bill and bank some money as well.
Al Jazira are active in this transfer window and on Wednesday completed the signing of attacking midfielder Mbark Boussoufa from Lokomotiv Moscow.
This takes the Abu Dhabi club up to six foreign players but they are expected to shortly clear at least three from their books to also make space for Cheick Tiote, as they are allowed only four foreign players per team in the Arabian Gulf League.
Tiote of course was left out of the friendly at Southend due to talks with Al Jazira and with only 34 minutes from two brief sub appearances in pre-season, his time is surely up at St James Park, as Newcastle have numerous other options in the middle of the pitch but are short of numbers/quality elsewhere.
With Cheick Tiote reported to have been offered £4m a year for the next three seasons in personal terms, you wouldn’t have thought putting an extra few quid on the transfer fee would be a major problem for Al Jazira.