Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote left playing catch-up after being barred entry to USA

Everton's Ross Barkley (left) and Newcastle United's Cheik Ismael Tiote in action
Everton's Ross Barkley (left) and Newcastle United's Cheik Ismael Tiote in action

Cheick Tiote will be left playing catch up with his fitness ahead of the new season – after being denied entry to the USA.

Tiote was left behind on Tyneside because of what head coach Steve McClaren – who has lost Sylvain Marveaux for up to six weeks – has described as “visa complications”.

Asked why Tiote wasn’t in his squad, McClaren said: “Visa complications.

“We tried to get him over here, but the visa was difficult. It was too short a time. He’s training back home.”

United take on Mexican side Club Atlas at Miller Park, Milwaukee in the early hours of tomorrow morning (2am kick-off BST).

It is problematic getting a visa to work in the USA if you have had a crimincal conviction.

Tiote – who played for McClaren at FC Twente – was given 180 hours community service and a seven-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, in October 2013 after admitting possession of a fake driving licence.

Yohan Cabaye, Joey Barton and Nile Ranger were denied entry to the USA for Newcastle’s last tour to the country four years ago.

Cabaye was refused a visa because of a disputed dental bill, while Barton and Ranger were blocked from travelling because of previous criminal convictions.

McClaren spoke highly of Tiote after his appointment last month, but the 29-year-old’s future seemingly lies away from St James’s Park after two indifferent years on Tyneside.

Locomotiv Moscow were interested in the Ivory Coast international last summer.

Meanwhile, midfielder Marveaux – who spent last season on loan at Guingamp – has had a hernia operation.

The 29-year-old is facing “four to six” weeks on the sidelines, according to McClaren, who yesterday held a Press conference with Jack Colback and Club Atlas coach Gustavo Matsas.

On the game, McClaren said: “We know it’s going to be a very difficult game.

“They finished fourth in their league, and when you play any Mexican team it’s very tough. They are difficult opponents.”