Chelsea boss, Andres Villas-Boas is preparing an audacious attempt to to lure tough tackling midfielder Cheick Tiote away from Newcastle United in a £20m bid reports the Sunday Mirror.
The Ivory Coast international, who is also thought to be a target of Manchester United, immediately impressed with his strong midfield displays since joining from Dutch outfit Twente for a mere £3.5m just 16 months ago. Newcastle are well aware of the interest surrounding the 25 year-old as Chelsea have been tracking him for some time having already failed with two previous attempts.
Toon boss, Alan Pardew played down potential moves for his midfield enforcer in January but insisted the club were now in a position to demand big money for their players. He said, “It is going to cost a hell of a lot of money, a hell of a lot of money because we’re in that position now.
“I think any of our players that get linked to other clubs, those clubs are going to need to know they’ll need to pay a shed load of money to get anyone out of this football club.”
When asked if it would take potential buyers to come up with the sort of bid that saw Andy Carroll leave for £35m to Liverpool last January, the Toon boss replied: “Absolutely!”
“I don’t envisage anyone going out in this window,” Pardew added. “But if a club, one of the top clubs, comes in and wants to pay way, way over the odds we’ll have to look at it.”
Newcastle are in a very strong position to demand top dollar from prospective buyers for Tiote as the Ivorian signed a 6 and a half year deal with the Magpies last February.
Tiote is due to be absent from the Newcastle side in January when he leaves for international duty with the Ivory Coast in the African Nations Cup. Pardew is already drawing up contingency plans should a massive offer come in for his midfield hard-man. He stated, “We have looked at the African Nations Cup and we have looked at the next window.
“I think the maximum we would do is two players in. That would be our maximum. Then if anyone left, it would be a third.”
Tiote has indicated a desire to play in the Champions League which would help assist AVB’s attempt, while fellow countryman Didier Drogba and Tiote’s role model in Michael Essien could also hold the key to persuading the Toon man to make a move to the capital as long as Roman Abromovich is willing to part with a hefty sum of money.
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