Newcastle United have released an official club statement regarding Cheick Tiote.

The club say that despite speculation to the contrary, the midfielder’s transfer to China was only ‘formally completed on Thursday morning’.

The statement confirms that Cheick Tiote has indeed joined Chinese second division club – Beijing Enterprises FC.

However, no confirmation of how much was paid, with the club giving the usual ‘undisclosed fee’.

Claims have varied from between £500,000 and £5m, with his former club FC Twente reported to be counting on the higher fee for a windfall, as when he joined Newcastle in 2010 there was a clause entitling them to 15% of any profit on a future sale.

Official Newcastle United Statement:

‘The club can now confirm that Cheick Tiote has joined Chinese second-tier side Beijing Enterprises for an undisclosed fee.

The deal was formally completed on Thursday morning, bringing an end to the Ivorian midfielder’s six-and-a-half-year Newcastle career.

Arriving from FC Twente in August 2010, Tiote made 156 appearances for the Magpies.

He scored only one goal, but it was a memorable one – the spectacular equaliser in the famous 4-4 comeback against Arsenal in February 2011.

Tiote leaves with the club’s best wishes for the future.’