Chelsea will look to bolster their midfield in January with a £20million deal for Newcastle Untied enforcer Cheick Tiote.
Andre Villas-Boas believes his side are desperate for another holding midfielder and the Ivory Coast international is thought to be the Portuguese’s first choice addition to the Stamford Bridge side.
It wouldn’t be the first time Chelsea have come calling for the Toon’s star man in the middle; they are believed to have made enquiries over his availability in the past two transfer windows.
Newcastle paid just £3.5million when Tiote moved from Dutch side FC Twente Enschede and boss Alan Pardew is refusing to let the Ivorian go, unless someone can match the £20million price tag they have put on him.
Pardew told the Sunday Mirror: “It is going to cost a hell of a lot of money, a hell of a lot of money because we’re in that position now.
“I think any of our players that get linked to other clubs, those clubs are going to need to know they’ll need to pay a shed load of money to get anyone out of this football club.”
Any transfer would be tempered by the fact that Tiote is due to go away with the Ivory Coast national side on Africa Cup of Nations duty in January.
Should he sign for the Blues, Tiote will join compatriots Didier Drogba and Saloman Kalou.