The Daily Mail reports that Newcastle United central midfielder Cheick Tiote has left the club to move to Chinese League One side Beijing Enterprises Group FC. The 30-year-old has been pictured wearing the shirt of his new club and holding a scarf aloft, although the deal has yet to be officially been announced.
Tiote therefore brings to an end his lengthy association with the St James Park’ club, who he signed for from Eredivisie side FC Twente back in 2010. Since then, the Ivorian has played over 130 games for the club but has found himself out of favour over the last couple of seasons.
His new club, commonly known as Beijing BG, finished bang in mid-table for the Chinese second-tier club last season, but will be hoping to earn promotion in their upcoming campaign to propel into the megabucks Chinese Super League. He had been strongly linked with a move to China during the January transfer window and was reportedly in discussions with La Liga strugglers Sporting Gijon as well.
Tiote has only made three appearances for the Magpies this season, two of them coming in the Emirates FA Cup, most recently in the January home victory over Birmingham City in a replay. An injury to Jack Colback and the suspension of Jonjo Shelvey led to Benitez not allowing the player to leave earlier, but the door has now seemingly been opened for him to depart to Asia.
Not only is Tiote best known for his hard-tackling approach, which earned him many yellow cards and ultimately suspensions during his time with the club, but also ‘that goal’. He scored the final goal of the thrilling 4-4 draw with Arsenal back in 2011. The video of which can be seen below.