Cheick Tiote has at long last made his move.
After spending the last couple of years waiting for the club perfect for him, the former Ivory Coast international claims to have found it in of all places, the Chinese second division.
The exotically named Beijing Enterprises FC have snapped the midfielder up as they try to get promotion to the top tier, with football in China kicking off once again in March.
Newcastle United haven’t confirmed the transfer as yet but there has predictably been a lot of publicity at the Beijing Enterprises FC end of things.
Most Newcastle fans assumed that after failing to get rid for so long and with less than five months until he would walk away anyway for no fee, that NUFC would just be happy to save the on wages until the end of June, rather than any expectation of a transfer fee.
However, there have been vastly different claims on Wednesday morning of the transfer that the Chinese club are allegedly coughing up for Cheick Tiote.
The Shields Gazette are saying they understand £500,000 is on its way to Newcastle United, whilst the Chronicle are reporting £5m on their information.
I suppose it is only a decimal point either way…
However, over in Holland the Dutch media are reporting that FC Twente are looking forward to getting their cut of the Tiote money.
Tubantia report that the Dutch club believe that higher figure to be correct and are expecting at least £100,000 after a 15% sell-on clause was inserted on any profit Newcastle made from a future sale of Cheick Tiote, when Newcastle bought him from FC Twente in summer 2010.
Difficult to believe that it is anywhere close to the higher figure but there again, obviously the Beijing Enterprises FC wages have caught the eye of even Tiote, so a daft transfer fee (as well as daft wages) isn’t totally out of the question.
Beijing Enterprises FC finished eighth in the Chinese 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.
This is 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).