Report claims midfielder could be the next to leave Newcastle United this summer

General view outside St James' Park

The Magpies are continuing their preparations for their season in the Championship.

Crystal Palace's Yohan Cabaye in action with Newcastle's Cheick TioteNewcastle's Cheick Tiote

A report in the Shields Gazette has claimed that Cheick Tiote could well be the next man to leave Newcastle United this summer.

Rafael Benitez is continuing to prepare his side as they look to secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and part of that process is inevitably letting some of the current squad move on.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Four former first-team players have already left so far this summer, and now the Shields Gazette is suggesting that it could be the 30-year-old that may be next to go, while Georginio Wijnaldum could also be on his way in the near future.

Though the report does not suggest where Tiote is likely to be heading, the Shields Gazette reported last month that talks over a move to China broke down in January, so it remains to be seen if a club from that region plans to resurrect a potential switch in the near future, and hand the Ivory Coast international the chance to either line up alongside or against former Magpies teammate Papiss Cisse, who has recently joined Shandong Luneng Taishan.

One considerable stumbling block to any potential move to China however - if, in fact, there is still interest - will be the fact that their transfer window closes later today, so if any Super League club is keen on a deal, they will surely need to act quickly or risk leaving the path clear for him to move elsewhere.

Newcastle United's Cheick Tiote celebrates with Rolando AaronsTiote celebrating with Rolando Aarons

With one year left on his deal at St James' Park (via Shields Gazette), it seems unlikely that Benitez will view Tiote as someone he plans to rely on regularly in the second tier.

The club's squad is arguably strong enough to contend for automatic-promotion, so the Spaniard may want to give opportunities to players who could be with the club for several years to come in the hope that regular football helps them for when they do manage to get back to the top flight.  

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez before the match

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