West Brom are said to be interested in Newcastle’s central midfielder Cheick Tiote, who we had half expected to go either to a Chinese or Qatar league side in the summer, but it seems West Brom’s Tony Pulis is interested in the Ivory Coast International.
Whether Rafa Benitez will let Cheick go in the summer is a good question, since he has said he wants to keep the majority of the squad together for the coming season in the Championship.
Newcastle’s finances are in good shape and there will not be a fire-sale at the club and indeed most of the squad will be kept for next season.
Cheick Tiote in against Manchester City
Only players like Gini Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko, Florian Thauvin and Daryl Janmaat, who can command big fees in the transfer market, are likely to be allowed to leave to generate the funds needed for Rafa to bring in some new players to the squad.
The squad will also need to grow because of the extra games in the Championship and maybe a couple of good cup runs under the new manager – always assuming Rafa will sign the three year deal this week..
Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace are also said to be interested in the 29 year-old who has 53 caps for the Ivory Coast and joined Newcastle for £3M from FC Twente in 2010.
Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace (Alan Pardew) are also said to be interested in Cheick, which could help to drive up the price that will start at around £5M.
We think there is a decent chance that Rafa Benitez will keep Tiote at the club for his final year of his contract, because for one reason Cheick played well for Newcastle once Rafa arrived.
Towards the end of the season Tiote was also full of praise for the former Liverpool manager, because of his coaching prowess and the player was extremely positive and upbeat.
And with Rafa staying on Tyneside, we expect a vast majority of the players to want to be in on the ground floor of the Rafa revolution on Tyneside.
Tiote is also the type of combative midfielder we will need in the second division next season.
What do you think?