Transfer talk: Newcastle United reject Al Jazira bid for Cheick Tiote, but valuations not far apart
The Abu Dhabi club bid for the Ivorian midfielder this week, with the deal expected to go through after Tiote was omitted from Newcastle’s squad for the pre-season friendly against Southend on Tuesday. The player, who almost moved to the Chinese Super League in January, is keen on continuing his career at Jazira. He has one year remaining on his contract.
However, the clubs have failed to agree a fee, with some reports claiming Newcastle rate Tiote at closer to £4 million. Yet the two parties’ valuations are nowhere near as far apart.
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Another stumbling block to the transfer is that Jazira currently have six foreign players on their books following the signing of Mbark Boussoufa late Wednesday.
The Moroccan, an attacking midfielder, arrived from Lokomotiv Moscow on a two-year deal and joins in the squad Mirko Vucinic, Jefferson Farfan, Angel Lafita, Thiago Neves and Park Jong-woo. With four foreign slots permitted in the Arabian Gulf League, Jazira are understandably seeking to offload a number of players.
Like Vucinic, Farfan missed a significant chunk of last season through injury, but the Peruvian is said to have impressed thus far at his side’s training camp in Holland. Boussoufa, meanwhile, seems set to replace Neves in the starting line-up.
Should Jazira and Newcastle strike a deal for Tiote, 30, the current President’s Cup holders will acquire a midfielder of considerable experience. Since joining Newcastle from FC Twente in 2010, he has made 153 appearances for the English club, scoring once. Last season, Tiote featured 20 times in the Premier League as Newcastle were relegated.
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Published: July 28, 2016 04:00 AM