Cheick Tiote re-affirms commitment to Newcastle amid persistent transfer speculation
Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has re-affirmed his commitment to the club amid continuing speculation over his future.
The 26-year-old's fine form since his £3.5million switch from Dutch side FC Twente during the summer of 2010 has alerted a series of potential buyers to his ability, prompting the Magpies to send out a warning that he would only be allowed to leave for an astronomical fee.
However, the Ivory Coast international has repeatedly distanced himself from all the rumours and insisted he wants to remain on Tyneside.
Asked once again at the club's pre-season training camp in Germany if he wants to stay, Tiote told the Evening Chronicle: "Yes. I am still a Newcastle player. I am very happy here.
"All I am looking at is that the season ahead of us will be a really good one, just like last season.
"Last season we finished fifth and doing that again will be difficult."
That top-five finish ensured the return of European football to Tyneside, and Tiote is relishing the prospect of a Europa League campaign.
He said: "I am ready for the challenge with Newcastle. It's a new season, and I think we have a lot of things to do.
"We will be playing in two competitions and it's going to be difficult."
Meanwhile, Newcastle are maintaining their interest in defenders Mathieu Debuchy and Douglas with manager Alan Pardew hoping to make a breakthrough within the next week or so.
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