Stamford Bridge boss wants St James’ Park battler.
Chelsea will launch a £20million January bid to land Newcastle midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote.
Andres Villas-Boas has made the combative Ivory Coast midfielder his top New Year target, but knows he will face tough competition from Manchester United.
And Toon boss Alan Pardew is warning potential suitors that they will have to break the bank to land a player who cost just £3.5m from Twente Enschede sixteen months ago.
Significantly, Pardew has not ruled out a Tiote departure in the next window, but is adamant that it will take a mega-money, Andy Carroll-style offer to prise the coveted 25-year-old from Newcastle’s grasp. The Toon top brass are very much aware of Chelsea’s interest in Tiote, who has been tracked by the Stamford Bridge regime since Carlo Ancelloti’s reign.
SOURCE: Sunday Mirror
Andre Villas-Boas is reportedly looking to add more steel to his midfield and a move to sign Newcastle United’s Chieck Tiote would make a great deal of sense, especially with Michael Essien out with a lengthy injury. The Blues boss still has the likes of John Obi Mikel and Ramires to call upon but clearly feels he needs a combative influence to break up opposition attacks.
Chelsea have at times looked very weak in the centre of the park and some sides have found it all too easy to hustle their way through to the West London side’s box.
Villas-Boas has watched his side concede 15 goals in 11 Premier League games and rather than this simply being down to centre backs not doing their job effectively it seems that the club needs an effective performer to break up forays from the opposition. Chelsea have managed just two clean sheets in the English top tier this season.
Tiote had an inspired first season in the Premier League last term and the former FC Twente man adapted instantly to life in England but it may prove tricky for Chelsea to nab the Ivory Coast man as he only recently signed a long term contract.