December and January has been jammed packed with speculation surrounding Newcastle United. Thankfully for the most part it has been about players coming in rather than heading for the exit.
There has been one name however that has been linked with every top club in the country since the end of last season and continues to be throughout this transfer window too. That name, the one and only Cheick Tiote.
Fortunately nothing came of it in January and we know that we have our Ivory Coast international until at least the end of the season. I do like the fact that Tiote has come out on numerous occasions stating his commitment to Newcastle and focus on progressing this season but there is no lasting smoke without fire and something tells me we could see him head to a title contending side sooner rather than later.
I would like to think with the singing of Papiss Cissè and a clutch of potential stars in the summer gone that it would convince our biggest stars we are going places, but money talks, and the likes of Man City and Chelsea have more than they know what to do with.
Prolonged interest in any player, no matter how big the club, can wear both club and player down. More often than not it is better to sell and move on than have the constant speculation unsettling all involved.
As we have seen with Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo, the playing field is far from fair these days and if a big club wants a player, they will go to extreme lengths to make a deal happen with everyone holding a press conference including the tea lady.
In fairness, this isn’t something that has happened to date with Tiote. Despite constant speculation there has not been any club to do a Barca or Harry on it and publicly stir the pot.
That said, there are many big clubs, as good as they are, who are missing a midfield destructive type player to protect their defence and, and in my opinion, at this moment in time there is nobody who does it better than Cheik Tiote.
I sincerely hope we can finish strong this season and maybe even secure a European spot, because I think that will be the only thing aside from Big Mike seriously splashing some cash that will keep the likes of Tiote here long term. Main priority for now, is building on what we have.