Cheick Tiote says 'my future is at Newcastle' despite transfer speculation


Newcastle's in-demand midfielder Cheick Tiote has insisted his future remains on Tyneside.

The Ivory Coast international, who has enhanced his reputation in the Barclays Premier League since his £3.5million switch from FC Twente during the summer of 2010, has been linked with a big-money move to Chelsea with a series of other potential suitors also monitoring his situation.

However, Tiote, who could return to the Magpies team against Stoke tomorrow after shaking off a hamstring injury, is happy where he is as he attempts to help the club realise their improbable Champions League dream.

He told the Evening Chronicle: "I'm a Newcastle player - my future is at Newcastle.

"I'm playing for Newcastle and I have to finish this season strongly and help the team get into Europe.

"If we do that, it will be good for the club and the fans. We are in a great position now."

Tiote has played a central role in Newcastle's return to prominence, and while both the African Nations Cup and injury have interrupted his campaign, his partnership with summer arrival Yohan Cabaye has been key.

The 25-year-old was a revelation in his first season in English football after being signed by former boss Chris Hughton, and his spectacular late equaliser in a remarkable 4-4 draw with Arsenal, as well as his combative style, have won him a place in Geordie folklore.