It is a month now since Rafa Benitez declared that if he couldn’t shift Cheick Tiote in ‘the next few days and weeks…we will have to do something with him because he is someone I like’.
The Newcastle Manager trying valiantly to put a positive spin on a poor situation – that was on the eve of the Wolves Cup match (played on 20 September) when Rafa confirmed that the midfielder wouldn’t be involved in that game.
Rafa Benitez speaking on 19 September 2016:
“Cheick Tiote will not be involved in this (Wolves) game, but I am pleased with him.
“He knows this is still a time where we are waiting a little bit to see what happens.
“He has been training well but we haven’t thought about him for this game.
“He will get a chance if nothing happens in the next few days and weeks. If nothing happens, we will have to do something with him because he is someone I like.
“If we have some information that clubs are interested, then we will analyse that.
“If not, he is a player that can give us experience.”
Only four days after that Cup match, the United boss then surprised everybody by including Cheick Tiote on the bench for the Aston Villa away game, his first involvement all season.
Tiote came on for the last 15 minutes of that game and went into the centre of midfield to try and help see the 1-0 win out, with Isaac Hayden switching to right-back in place of the injured DeAndre Yedlin.
Newcastle were all over the shop in those closing stages with Tiote looking way off the pace, United of course conceding in the very final stages.
Since that day at Villa Park, Cheick Tiote hasn’t been included in any more of Rafa’s matchday squads but is still at the club.
With now just over eight months of his Newcastle contract remaining, Cheick Tiote has seen moves to China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, reportedly all fall down because his wage demands were too excessive.
A month ago there were still 20 different transfer windows still to close and now there are only half a dozen (listed below) but realistically probably only one that looks a possibility..
The UAE window closes on Thursday and if nothing happens by then, it looks guaranteed that Rafa and Newcastle will be stuck with Tiote at least until January.
Transfer window closures as listed by Transfermarkt:
DR Congo Oct 19 2016 (Open for 2 more day)
United Arab Emirates Oct 20 2016 (Open for 3 more days)
Burkina Faso Oct 28 2016 (Open for 11 more days)
Liberia Oct 29 2016 (Open for 12 more days)
Mauritania Oct 31 2016 (Open for 14 more days)
Anguilla Oct 31 2016 (Open for 14 more days)