According to a report in the Daily Mail, Chinese outfit Beijing Guoan are interesting in signing Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote during the January transfer window.
The Ivory Coast international has struggled for game-time at Newcastle, succumbing to a succession of injuries and losing his spot to fellow holding midfielder Vurnon Anita.
Tiote has started just six Premier League games this season, and his situation at St. James’ Park has led to plenty of speculation regarding his future at the club.
As stated by the Daily Mail, Beijing Guoan have emerged as a surprise contender for his signature with Newcastle valuing him at around £8 million.
“Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote is wanted by Chinese side Beijing Guoan. Newcastle value him at around £8m. Guoan are looking to pay less on the fee but will offer a salary of around £3.5m a year after tax - around £67,000 a week,” the report states.
Newcastle currently find themselves in a precarious positon in the Premier League table, occupying 18th position and two points short of Swansea City and safety.
Steve McClaren’s side have a big task on their hands in their bid to avoid the drop, and unless they bring in a new central midfielder the idea of allowing Tiote to leave now is somewhat nonsensical.
The holding midfielder has started the last two games for the club in Anita’s absence, illustrating he still has the capabilities to feature with a fine performance in the narrow 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.
Newcastle will surely need to count on his services again between now and the end of the season, and there aren’t many others in their squad who can perform a similar job.