Newcastle’s search for recruits drags on as Cheick Tiote edges towards exit door

Modou Barrow
Modou Barrow

Newcastle United’s search for recruits looks set to go to the wire – and there could to be an outgoing before an incoming.

The club is interested in signing Swansea City winger Modou Barrow on a loan with a view to a permanent deal.

Barrow, 24, is available in this month’s transfer window, but a breakthrough is not understood to be imminent.

Second-placed Newcastle have all but given up hope of re-signing Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend, who left St James’s Park last summer in the wake of the club’s relegation.

Townsend’s club are unwilling to loan Townsend, who cost them £13million and has struggled for form this season.

United – who made a £30million-plus profit on player trading last summer – are reluctant to spend big in this window.

Cheick Tiote

Cheick Tiote

And the club, which is two points behind Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion, is continuing to explore the loan market.

However, some Premier League players could only become available on loan in the final few days of the window if and when their clubs secure their own targets.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez said he “expected” positive news this week after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Rotherham United at St James’s Park.

That could prove optimistic, though efforts are ongoing ahead of Saturday’s fourth-round FA Cup tie away to Oxford United.

Benitez – who will have Mohamed Diame, Christian Atsu and Chancel Mbemba back from the African Cup of Nations next month – has been looking at midfielders and wingers.

There could be movement out of the club this week.

Midfielder Cheick Tiote, out of contract in the summer, is again attracting interest from China.

And Tiote’s long-running search for a new club could come to an end in the coming days.

The 30-year-old had been a target for Spanish club Sporting Gijon this month, but the terms on offer did not meet his expectations.

Meanwhile, Rotherham’s Newcastle-supporting midfielder Will Vaulks has spoken about the “strange” task he was handed at St James’s Park.

Vaulks was asked to man mark Jonjo Shelvey in the meeting between the two clubs.

The 23-year-old said: “It was a bizarre game for me, because I’ve never played the man marking role before.

“When the balls going one end of the pitch, and you’re at the other end chasing someone around, it’s a little bit strange.

“But it was a great experience for me because I’ve been a Newcastle fan since childhood.”