Talks were at an advanced stage for Cheick Tiote to move to Sporting Gijon but now it has been revealed why nothing has happened in recent days.
Relegation struggler Sporting Gijon appointed a new manager last week and asked for a little time to decide what the priority would be in the transfer market, after he had looked at his squad of players.
After looking at the squad and considering what Cheick Tiote could offer, new boss Rubi has decided that he needs a different type of midfielder.
With only 13 points from 19 matches, the La Liga club are in a desperate position and currently third bottom, three points ahead of Granada and four in front of Emmanuel Riviere and Osasuna who are rock bottom.
The club have very little money but are also desperate to add instant quality on the field to try and avoid relegation.
Rubi is said to want more creativity via a new signing rather than Tiote’s physical side of the game but there is also the necessity of time, with a player needed who can come in and instantly perform.
Sporting Gijon haven’t totally written off the idea of signing the Newcastle midfielder but would prefer other options.
However, you do have to wonder whether it has been simply a case of them watching Cheick Tiote playing in either or both of the FA Cup matches against Birmingham, where he was really poor throughout.
Making the Newcastle midfielder your top earner and then getting that level of performance, would be a disaster both financially and on the pitch for the Spanish club.
Hopefully something can still be sorted, whether it is at Sporting Gijon or elsewhere, as Rafa Benitez clearly doesn’t have any use for Cheick Tiote in the coming months.
From La Nueva Espana:
‘Rubi has changed the priority when it comes to signings. The new coach of Sporting (Gijon) shares the opinion of the club’s sports management, that the most urgent is to strengthen the centre of the field.
However, the characteristics of Cheick Tiote, a footballer with whom the club had already had advanced negotiations for a transfer in the present winter market, do not exactly fit what he deems necessary.
Rubi wants more creativity and the Ivorian offers more muscle. Nico Rodriguez, sports director, is willing to meet the demands of the coach, so the club has activated alternatives, parking the option of the Ivorian (Cheick Tiote), which is not totally discarded for the moment.
Rubi asked the sports management, after just taking over the position last week, to give him a few days to analyse the status of the players he was going to find in the squad and thus make a report on his point of view to go to the market. Nico Rodriguez met the demand of Catalan, which has not been separated since his arrival.
Sporting director and coach are aware that Sporting have a very small margin of error, both on the pitch and in terms of money. Tiote has had a few minutes this season, does not know the characteristics of the Spanish league and his football is more oriented to defensive work. Rubi values the Ivorian, but has offered ideas on other doors to touch that and offer more guarantees on an immediate performance.’