Manchester City are set to make the first move in the race to sign Newcastle United midfielder Cheik Tiote, according to reports.
The Daily Express claims Manuel Pellegrini is ‘determined’ to land the 27-year-old, but faces competition from Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Tiote continues to impress at St. James’ Park, and has been one of the Magpies most consistent performances over the past few seasons under Alan Pardew.
It’s alerted other clubs in England however, with Manchester City now leading the chasing pack in the race to sign a player who could command a fee as high as £18million.
Citizens boss Pellegrini believes his side are lacking a holding midfielder, according to the paper, with both Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia failing to impress when given the opportunity at the Etihad Stadium.
And, should Tiote join Manchester City, it could mean the end for one of the aforementioned duo at the title chasers.
Whilst Manchester United aren’t challenging for silverware this season, they are also interested in the Ivorian powerhouse.
David Moyes wants the player to provide a much-needed boost to his side’s midfield, with the Red Devils currently struggling to take command of matches home or away.
His arrival at Old Trafford would be a major boost in the summer, particularly after a couple of disappointing transfer windows at Manchester United – despite the arrival of Juan Mata.
Chelsea, who let the Spaniard leave in January, have more options than their rivals in midfield, but the paper claims Jose Mourinho is ready to let John Obi Mikel leave the club at the end of the season and could replace him with Tiote at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal are another side with limited defensive-midfield options, and the arrival of Tiote would give Arsene Wenger another option at the heart of his side at the Emirates Stadium.