Galatasaray have completed the £1.6 million signing of Newcastle United defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote, according to the Daily Mail.
Despite being unwilling to relinquish numerous key players, including star midfield man Moussa Sissoko, Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has given the green light for club veteran Cheick Tiote to depart St James’ Park.
With supreme talent in abundance in Benitez’s Newcastle squad, Tiote had been deemed surplus to requirements in the side that hope to surge to Championship promotion at the first attempt, following dramatic relegation from the English top-flight last campaign.
The 31-year-old Ivorian international initially joined Newcastle in August 2010, making a £3.5 million switch from Dutch Eridivisie side FC Twente. Following an 18 September 2010 debut against Everton, Tiote soon became an integral part of Newcastle’s midfield, featuring heavily as Newcastle most notably battled for Champions League positioning throughout the 2011/12 top-flight season.
However, Tiote ultimately fell out of favour on Tyneside under then Magpies boss Alan Pardew, making only a meagre 11 Premier League appearances during the 2014/15 campaign. Following relegation from the Premier League, Tiote failed to make an appearance in Newcastle’s opening Championship fixtures, casting doubt over the Ivorian’s future at the club.
In total, Tiote made 153 appearances for Newcastle, whilst bagging his only goal for the club via a thunderous half-volley to complete an improbable comeback at home to Arsenal on February 5 2011.
After a six-year tenure at St James’ Park, Tiote departs Newcastle, with the Daily Mail reporting the midfielder flew out to Turkish capital Istanbul on Sunday in order to complete a £1.6 million switch to famed Super Lig outfit Galatasaray.
According to the Mail, the Turkish club fought off interest from both Burnley and Olympiacos to secure Tiote’s signature.