Could Newcastle return to £10m 'new Makelele' amid Tiote exit talk?

Cheick Tiote

Nampalys Mendy was identified as a potential target for the Premier League strugglers, despite previously professing a love for Manchester United.

Cheick Tiote could be allowed to leave St James’ Park this January, but only if the club successfully recruits a replacement with Nice youngster Nampalys Mendy among those linked with a move to the Magpies.

Newcastle United have reportedly been keen on the 22-year-old defensive midfielder for some time, with reports last month suggesting Toon scouts are keeping close tabs on the former AS Monaco man.

And with quotes published today suggesting that Cheick Tiote is looking to depart Tyneside come January, any interest in Mendy could translate into a serious bid from the Magpies in the coming months.

Previously labelled as the ‘new Claude Makelele’, the youngster has been capped by France at five different levels of youth football and looks destined for big things.

A tough-tackling ball-winner by trade, Mendy played an instrumental role in helping AS Monaco to make a return to Ligue 1, before opting against signing an improved contract with the newly-rich Principality Club in favour of moving to unfashionable Nice.

Citing the opportunity to enjoy more first team football under highly-rated manager Claude Puel, a move to Newcastle United could represent the ideal switch for a player looking to take his career to the next level.

Not only would the Magpies undoubtedle be willing to make concessions and guarantee regular action as part of the deal, but a move to the north east could also open up opportunities for the French national team.

Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko all found themselves part of Les Bleus setup after impressing for the Toon and the French contingent in the Newcastle squad would also help Mendy to settle into the team and the area.

Currently valued around £10 million, a more significant bid could well be required to prise him away from Nice.

A word of warning for Newcastle fans though – Mendy has previously spoken of his dream of one day playing for Manchester United.

Check out this video of Mendy in action for Nice - does he look like the man to fill Tiote's shoes?

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