Newcastle eager to keep hold of star

Alan Pardew has stated that Cheik Tiote is a key player for Newcastle and it will take a sizeable offer for the midfielder in January to prise him away from Tyneside.

The African midfielder has impressed since moving to England from Twente back in August 2010, and has been linked with a move to a number of the Premier League’s biggest clubs; Chelsea are reportedly very keen on the Ivory Coast international.

However, Pardew has stated that the club are in a good financial position, so it will take a large bid to see Tiote leave the club in the new year.

“He’s a big target because he’s a great player, and great players are going to be targets,” Pardew told reporters.

“We are always on our guard with Cheik because we realise that to us, he is very, very important and it would be very, very difficult to get him out of here.

“You never know with the window. It’s such a minefield of possibilities.

“We have one or two players here that top clubs, I’m sure, will be interested in, but the one thing I would say on that is that they are going to have to pay a lot of money to take anybody out of here because we are obviously in a good position, not just on the playing side, but financially as well.

“In terms of players coming in, there is certainly one player who will come in and we are hoping maybe two – if we don’t lose anybody,” he concluded.

Newcastle host Swansea on Saturday, and will be keen to get a win after three defeats from their last four games.

By Gareth McKnight