It has been a tough couple of weeks at Newcastle United. The conjecture over the future of manager Alan Pardew and a recent fan protest aside there was the Cheick Tiote debacle this week.
These quotes were attributed to the Ivorian earlier in the week. Tiote reportedly claimed:
“I want to leave. I’ve spent four years with Newcastle. I think I have reached a stage where it’s maybe time to look elsewhere for a new challenge.”
It was believed he had his eyes on a move to Arsenal, who were said to be looking for a holding midfielder to improve their options in the heart of the park.
Today he has refuted those claims, as reported on the Newcastle website:
"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."
And he certainly looked happy enough today in training with his club. He was snapped sharing a big laugh with striker Papiss Cisse and it looks as though the rumours of his impending exit have been greatly exaggerated.
More good news for Newcastle fans, as Ryan Taylor was seen in action throughout the session. He has not played a game for the club since facing Atromitos in August 2012 - so his return would be a real boost in the game against Swansea City on Saturday.