Rafa Benitez says Newcastle ‘close’ to breakthrough as Cheick Tiote nears exit

Cheick Tiote
Cheick Tiote

Newcastle United are “close” to another transfer breakthrough – as Cheick Tiote edges towards the exit door.

Tiote is keen to join Al Jazira Club after six years on Tyneside.

But the Abu Dhabi side is yet to agree a fee with Newcastle, who rate the 30-year-old in the £4million bracket.

There has been renewed speculation over the future of Moussa Sissoko, who is interesting a clutch of clubs including Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.

Asked about Tiote after tonight’s 2-0 friendly win at Southend, United manager Rafa Benitez said: “We have some players that are in the market because the clubs are asking for them, but we have to wait and see if we receive the right offers for the right players.

“Then we will move forward. The main thing for me is to be sure we can bring the players we need to improve the squad.”

Newcastle last week sold Georginio Wijnaldum to Liverpool for £25million.

And Benitez says United are “close” to another signing.

“We were moving quickly at the beginning,” said Benitez. “After Premier League teams started spending some money, people were thinking that the prices would be higher and then it’s more difficult.

“But still we have some things behind the scenes and we are close.”