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Newcastle United midfielder closes in on La Liga transfer

Spanish Football Expert for Sky Sports Guillem Balague understands that Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote is closing in on a move to Sporting Gijon. The La Liga strugglers find themselves in the relegation zone, having won only three times all season so far.

The deal for the 30-year-old Ivory Coast hard-tackling midfielder will go through barring any last minute issues. Under Rafa Benitez this season, Tiote has only made two appearances for the Magpies, once in the league draw against Aston Villa in September and last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup draw versus Birmingham City at St Andrews.

Tiote has played over 140 times for the St James’ Park club since his move from Eredivisie outfit FC Twente in 2010. Over the last few seasons, as he found himself struggling for game time, he has been linked with various moves away. A supposed move to the Chinese Super League is believed to have fallen through in recent times as well.

He is now set to play his football at the 30,000 El Molinon under manager Abelardo Fernandez, who is a former player for the club as well as Barcelona, where he won two La Liga titles in the late 1990s.

Tiote was a firm fans’ favourite during his time with Newcastle but that honeymoon is very much coming to an end. Given how Jonjo Shelvey has been banned and Jack Colback has been out injured in recent times, yet Tiote still struggled to play, that pointed to the likelihood that he would be leaving the club in the January transfer window. He now swaps a push for promotion for the scrap to avoid relegation out of La Liga.


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