Newcastle United will end the winter transfer window in profit – thanks to Cheick Tiote’s move to China.
The club is set to bank a fee approaching £500,000 for the midfielder, who has linked up with Beijing Enterprises.
The support from our fans this season has been nothing short of amazing.Lee Charnley
Tiote has agreed a two-year deal with the second division club.
The modest fee for Tiote – who is out of contract in the summer – contrasts sharply with the huge sums banked last summer, when Newcastle made a £30million-plus profit on player trading after the high-profile departures of Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum.
But Tiote’s move means that United will turn in another profit, albeit a small one.
The club, to the “disappointment” of manager Rafa Benitez, failed to sign a player in January.
Tiote was the only player Benitez – whose Championship-leading side takes on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday – was prepared to lose midway through the season.
The 30-year-old – who is in his seventh season at St James’s Park – travelled to China late last week after agreeing terms with the club.
Tiote has since passed a medical.
United will confirm the deal once the paperwork has been completed.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have revealed that existing season-ticket holders will enjoy a price freeze for next season, when the club could be back in the Premier League.
United managing director Lee Charnley said: “The support from our fans this season has been nothing short of amazing.
“They have flocked to St James’s Park to support Rafa and the team in the quest to see us returned to the Premier League.
“We wanted to help repay their incredible loyalty with a price freeze for all existing season-ticket holders, meaning the price they’ll pay in 2017-18 will be exactly the same as the price they paid for their 2016-17 season ticket.”
The club, which has averaged over 51,000 in the Championship this season, has almost 38,000 season-ticket holders.