Charles Perrin from The Express has arrived at the Football Transfer Tavern with news that Chelsea want to capture Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote in the January transfer window.
The reporter claims that the Blues who are currently competing in the Club World Cup in Japan see the tough-tackling midfielder as a replacement for Oriol Romeu, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with injury and John Obi Mikel, who will be away at the African Cup of Nations next month.
Rafael Benitez’s side is full of flair players like summer arrivals Eden Hazard, Oscar and Spanish star Juan Mata but they appear to lack the sort of aggressive defensive midfield play that Tiote could offer.
Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson are known admirers of the midfielder who gained recognition for his fine displays last season however he has had a slower start this term with only six starts of the Magpies’ 16 league games so far, mainly due to injury.
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez hinted early this week that the club required a more defensive-minded player.
He told the Express: “You need to know the players and find the balance. If you have too many players with quality – these players we were talking about but cannot regain the ball – you do not have the balance.”
Newcastle could be prepared to sell the Ivorian in January and given Chelsea’s woes in midfield, he could be the perfect choice to steady the ship at Stamford Bridge.