Cheick Tiote could be on his way to China after Shanghai Shenhua submitted a bid to Newcastle United, reports Sky Sports.
Weekend rumours suggested that the Magpies were hoping to offload the Ivorian midfielder for £8 million after a mixed five-and-a-half year spell on Tyneside. This week's signings of Henri Saivet and Jonjo Shelvey have done little to dispel those rumours, despite Tiote starting against Manchester United on Tuesday night.
Now 29, Tiote joined Newcastle for £3.5 million in August 2011. He had previously played under Steve McClaren at FC Twente, winning the 2009-10 Eredivisie.
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He proved an instant hit on Tyneside, despite picking up a record-equalling 14 yellow cards in his first Premier League season. It also produced his most memorable moment in a black and white shirt - a volley that completed Newcastle's remarkable 4-goal comeback against Arsenal in February 2011.
However, tough-tackling Tiote has struggled for form and fitness over the past two seasons and there is a feeling that it's the right time to part ways, especially for such a large fee.
Newcastle boss McClaren remained coy about whether Tuesday was Tiote's final game for the club: "I'm not too sure. As I said before, once something happens we'll announce it and let you know. I do feel he has been very, very good the past two or three games for us."
Shelvey, signed for £12 million, was unveiled to home fans before kick-off and is seen as the forward-thinking midfielder that Newcastle desperately need. Saivet arrived from Bordeaux in a £4.5 million deal and is perhaps a more direct Tiote replacement, with only two Ligue 1 midfielders making more tackles so far this season.
Are Newcastle fans happy to see Tiote go, or is every player needed for their relegation battle? Let us know below.
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