A new escape route looks to have opened up for Cheick Tiote.
Rafa Benitez made clear the midfielder had no future at Newcastle United but a move to Galatasaray fell down late in the transfer window, despite Tiote having travelled over to Istanbul in anticipation of completing the deal.
There were conflicting claims, with some reports of a failed medical, whilst others said that the Turkish club weren’t prepared to meet the player’s wage demands.
If I was a betting man I would tend to go with the latter, as a move to China collapsed earlier this year with reports of Cheick Tiote being disappointed that Shanghai Shenhua wouldn’t ‘significantly increase his £60,000 a week Newcastle wages’.
With now less than 10 months of his Newcastle contract remaining, there now looks to be a last gasp alternative move opening up, with Cheick Tiote’s agent said to have made contact with clubs in the Qatar Stars League.
The league season starts in Qatar on 15 September and their transfer window remains open for a further week after that – it doesn’t matter about the country where the selling club is based, only the buying one, in terms of whether a transfer window is open or closed.
Cheick Tiote has been left out of all of Rafa Benitez’ six matchday squads this season, despite starting all of those final six games of last season in the Premier League – during which Newcastle remained unbeaten.
Rafa looking to clear out the final remnant of that fifth placed team of 2011/12, with the likes of a restored Jonjo Shelvey and new signing Isaac Hayden preferred to Tiote.