Chelsea are lining up a £25million bid for Newcastle United’s Cheick Tiote, but could face competition from Manchester United.
Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas is desperate to add some young blood to his squad in January and sees Tiote as an ideal addition, according to the Mirror.
However, Chelsea may have to fight it out with Manchester United for the Ivory Coast international, as Sir Alex Ferguson is looking to add to his underperforming midfield.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew seems to have resigned himself to Tiote leaving for Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge and has lined up replacements.
Villas-Boas is looking to bolster his midfield after becoming unconvinced that Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel can perform their duties sufficiently.
Meanwhile, Ferguson wants to help shore up a midfield that has proved poor defensively so far this season, culminating in their shock elimination from the Champions League at the group stages.
Tiote is currently injured and has not featured for the Toon since October 22 after injuring his knee.
There is fluid forming on the joint, which is causing pain and discomfort when twisting and turning.
The 25-year-old even went so far as to visit a witch doctor in his native Ivory Coast in an attempt help the healing process.
The injury was not expected to keep Tiote out for long originally and doctors are baffled as to why it has taken so long.