Newcastle star Cheick Tiote has shocked Manchester United and Arsenal today, by admitting that he has no intention of leaving his current club.
The Ivory Coast international has been hotly tipped to leave Alan Pardew’s Premier League strugglers, with a dream move to one of the league’s biggest sides said to be in the offing for around £15 million. Tiote fanned the fires of speculation earlier this week by revealing that it was time for a new challenge, and stating in no uncertain terms that he wanted to leave Newcastle.
Now though the defensive midfielder has completed a U-turn, claiming that he was misquoted and that he has no intention of jumping ship anytime soon.
According to the Daily Express, Tiote said: “I saw the quotes that appeared yesterday, but they are not accurate.
"Yes, there was some interest in me over the summer, and that can be a bit distracting, but nothing came of it. I'm back to full fitness and only thinking about doing my best for the team.
“We are not in a good position in the league right now and I want to get us up to where we should be. I am as committed as I have ever been to Newcastle."
That should mean that Newcastle can keep hold of him past the winter transfer window, which will be great news for Magpies fans and terrible news to those of Arsenal and United. Having arrived in England’s top flight in 2010 Tiote has carved out a fine reputation for himself as a dogged ball-winner, and his ability to break up play in front of the back four hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Arsene Wenger is believed to be readying a move for a top-class midfield anchorman at the beginning of the New Year, and Tiote is the type of player who would allow the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey the freedom to get forward knowing that there’s protection should their attacks be broken up.
Manchester United interest
Manchester United on the other hand have a similar issue to contemplate, with Louis van Gaal’s transfer business having been criticised for favouring players who are attack-minded.
To bring balance to their squad it’s believed the Dutchman wants to bring in a rough and ready player who can sure up the defensive side of the midfield and shield the inexperienced back-line.
Regardless of how big his suitors are however it seems as though Tiote won’t be caving under the pressure of forcing an exit just for the sake of it. That in itself is a welcoming boost for Tyneside fans, who have been subjected to a number of drab displays this campaign.
Currently Newcastle sit 19th in the Premier League, without a win to their name. Pardew’s side have drawn three and lost three so far, and owner Mike Ashley is said to be preparing to relieve his manager of his duties if things don’t improve.
Though it’s early days yet Tiote could change his mind if results fail to pick up, and if Newcastle are relegated then it’s almost a certainty that he’ll be eager to move.
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