Arsenal told to pay big for Newcastle ace

Newcastle are ready to sell wantaway midfielder Cheick Tiote to Arsenal, but only if the Gunners hand over £15m, according to reports from the Daily Star.

The Ivorian recently declared that he’s ready to end his four-year stay at St James’ Park in January, as he searches for a new challenge.

Arsenal have been the side most strongly linked with the 28-year-old, with Tiote himself stating that contact was made with the Gunners over the summer.

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And with Arsene Wenger having avoided purchasing a genuine holding midfielder – a move which hit home over the last week amid a flurry of injures – there has been talk of a concrete offer for the African ace.

But Newcastle will not settle for any less than £15m for the £45,000-per-week star.

Alan Pardew values Tiote highly, and is worried that the sale of an influential player may have the same effect on his side as the departure of Yohan Cabaye last January.

The powerful enforcer has gained a reputation for his tough-tackling approach and athleticism since his 2010 arrival at St James’ Park from FC Twente.

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