Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote eyes big-money move to China as Spanish club tables offer

Cheick Tiote
Cheick Tiote
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Newcastle United’s Cheick Tiote hasn’t given up hope of securing a move to China – a year after a switch to Shanghai Shenhua broke down.

Spanish club Sporting Gijon are attempting to sign the midfielder in this month’s transfer window.

But Tiote – who is out of contract in the summer – is still interested in a move to the Far East.

A proposed £4million move to Shanghai fell through 12 months ago.

Chinese clubs have since spent huge sums on Europe-based players, notably Chelsea’s Oscar, who cost Shanghai SIPG £52million.

Tiote is aware of the high wages on offer in the burgeoning Chinese Super League. And it remains to be seen whether Sporting Gijon can offer the 30-year-old a competitive package.

The relegation-threatened La Liga club hope to conclude a deal for Tiote this week.

United manager Rafa Benitez is happy to let Tiote, signed from FC Twente in the summer of 2012, leave St James’s Park in the window.

The Chinese transfer window is open for another 44 days, so Tiote, also interesting clubs in the United Arab Emirates, could opt to wait on a move to the country.

Tiote made his first start of the season in last weekend’s FA Cup tie against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.

The Ivory Coast international, left out of his country’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, last 65 minutes of the third-round tie, which ended 1-1.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have lost out on midfielder Tom Cleverley, who was a loan target for the club.

Cleverley has joined Watford from Everton on a half-season loan with a view to a permanent move to Vicarage Road.

United had only been looking at securing a loan deal for the 27-year-old, who is not in Ronald Koeman’s plans at Goodison Park.

Benitez is keen to strengthen his midfield options for the second half of the Championship campaign.

Newcastle are second in the table ahead of tomorrow’s game against 14th-placed Brentford at Griffin Park.