Arsenal told to pay £15m for Cheick Tiote

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Arsenal must pay £15 million to sign Newcastle United's tenacious central midfielder Cheick Tiote when the transfer window re-opens in January.

This is according to the Daily Star, who claim that Newcastle will only listen to offers of £15 million or more for the want-away Ivory Coast international.

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Tiote reveals desire to leave Newcastle

Tiote revealed in an interview with reporters in his home country this week that he wants to leave the Magpies, who are currently joint-bottom of the Premier League table having taken three points from their opening six fixtures.

“I want to leave,” he said. “I’ve spent four years with Newcastle and I think I’ve reached the stage where it’s maybe time to look elsewhere for a new challenge.

“I will focus on the upcoming games and see what happens between now and December but it is true there was contact for me in the summer from Arsenal and also from a club in Russia. I would prefer to stay in England, though.”

Tiote contracted to Newcastle until 2017

Tiote is contracted to Newcastle until 2017 after penning a six-and-a-half-year deal worth £45,000-a-week, making him one of the highest-paid players at St James' Park, in 2011.

But the north-east outfit are struggling badly in the Premier League, while beleaguered manager Alan Pardew is reportedly on the verge of being sacked.

And Tiote, perhaps keen to flee the sinking ship, is hoping to secure a move to a top English club in the New Year.

Newcastle paid FC Twente £3.5 million to sign Tiote in 2010 - and since then the African star has cemented his reputation as one of the Premier League's best holding midfielders.

Arsenal face competition from Man United

Arsenal, who many fans believe are in dire need of an upgrade in that specific position, have been continually linked with the likes of Sami Khedira and William Carvalho in recent weeks. However, Tiote could potentially be a cheaper option than either of those in-demand stars.

The Gunners, though, could face stiff competition from Manchester United, who also have an interest in the Ivorian.

United boss Louis van Gaal is keen to bolster his midfield options and may turn to Tiote if he fails to sign either Arturo Vidal from Juventus or Kevin Strootman from AS Roma in January.

Newcastle will be reluctant to part with their prized asset, even if a club meets their £15 million asking price.

The Magpies fell apart in the second half of last season after selling Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain, and there's a real danger that Newcastle could be relegated to the Championship for the second time in six years if they decide to cash-in on Tiote before the winter transfer window closes in early February.

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Newcastle United
Cheik Tiote
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