Wenger and Villas-Boas to tempt Ivorian with bid

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew is bracing himself for big money offers for holding midfielder Cheick Tiote in January according to the Daily Mail.

London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are both interested in the Ivorian international who has been on the sidelines for two months with injury. Although only a big money offer would interest the North East club, Pardew has failed to rule out the sale of their prized midfielder.

Arsenal are looking to replace the departed Cesc Fabregas still and the Champions League football could attract Tiote to the Emirates, however Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is also interested and could build his new look midfield around the player who will return to first team action against Swansea on Saturday.

The club are no doubt in a better position both on and off the pitch than they were this time last year and so the need for a big name departure is less, but a big money deal could interest Mike Ashley.

Pardew said: ‘You never know with the window — it’s such a minefield of possibilities. I think I’ve learned from the Andy Carroll situation and outside of Manchester City, every club has a player that is vulnerable.

“We have one or two players here that top clubs, I’m sure, would be interested in.

“The one thing I would say is that they will have to pay a lot of money to take anyone out of here because we’re in a good position — not just on the playing side but financially.”

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