Reports from China claim that Cheick Tiote has at long last completed his transfer away from Newcastle United.
Monday saw Sky Sports report/claim that Newcastle United, the player, and Shandong Luneng had all agreed the move, with the medical being completed yesterday.
However, Tuesday morning brings news that Cheick Tiote is not apparently linking up with former Premier League stars Papiss Cisse and Graziano Pelle at the (relatively) glamorous Shandong Luneng in China’s cash-laden top tier.
Instead, it is reported that the former Ivory Coast international has joined Chinese second tier Beijing Enterprises FC, which sounds a bit like a Chinese version of a football club Delboy Trotter might have set up.
They finished eighth in the second tier last season and don’t have any recognisable names in their squad, the most ‘famous’ overseas players of the past appear to be Lucian Goian, a Romanian defender, and Danko Lazovic, a Serbian striker.
Founded originally as Beijing Baxy FC in 2004, on Christmas Day 2014, Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited bought the club and changed the name to Beijing Enterprises, they also changed the club’s badge and home kit from all white to blue and red.
If indeed this is the player’s new club, then it will be a fitting end to what has been an embarrassing couple of years, as Cheick Tiote has been holding on for his pot of gold move and rejected a number of clubs who didn’t offer the right money. Preferring to hang on at Newcastle and pick up Premier League level wages whilst playing very little football to earn it.
In six and a half years, Tiote only started 129 league matches and scored that solitary Premier League goal against Arsenal.
Only 15 minutes of Championship action this season when looking way off the pace against Aston Villa, plus two very poor FA Cup run outs against Birmingham, the midfielder picked up a phenomenal 52 yellows (and 1 red) in those 129 league starts (plus 10 as a sub).