Newcastle United's Cheick Tiote has confirmed that he wants to quit the club in January.
The Ivorian was linked with a move away from St. James' Park for the entirety of the summer and it seems that the interest has turned his head.
Tiote has now gone on record with his desire to depart Tyneside in search of a higher standard of football and he also revealed that Arsenal tried to sign him over the summer.
“I want to leave," the Shields Gazette quote Tiote as saying. "I’ve spent four years with Newcastle. I think I have reached a stage where it’s maybe time for me to look elsewhere for a new challenge.
“I will focus on upcoming games and let’s see what happens between now and December.
“It is true there were contacts for me from Arsenal and a club in Russia. I’d prefer to stay in England.”
Tiote's statements adds further misery to what has been a thoroughly disappointing start to the season for the Magpies.
The midfielder is one of their key players and his departure would only set a team which is already struggling back further.
Although that won't be until January, there must be question marks over Tiote's desire to perform for the Magpies at a time when they need all their players to step-up.
The club are yet to win this season and will be determined to put that right at the weekend - but Tiote's heart may not be in it.
Instead, he appears to be edging towards a move to Arsenal and he could provide a solution for a problem which has proved evident at the Emirates all season.
The lack of a defensive midfielder has already been costly for the Gunners and Wenger may well be on the look out for a man who can add solidarity to his team in the new year.
If he does rekindle his summer interest then Tiote offers a viable option and the Newcastle man certainly seems to have his heart set on a move to London.