Alan Pardew says he hasn’t lost the dressing room, but things are starting to appear otherwise.
“I want to leave.”
Ok then. Doesn’t get much more frank than that from Cheick Tiote.
According to the Newcastle Chronicle, the 28-year-old hard-hitting midfielder told media in his native Ivory Coast that he’s done at Newcastle.
“I’ve spent four years with Newcastle,” Tiote said. “I think I have reached a stage where it’s maybe time to look elsewhere for a new challenge.”
Interestingly enough, he mentioned a few potential destinations should he indeed leave in December.
“It is true there were contacts for me from Arsenal and a club in Russia. I’d prefer to stay in England.”
Tiote, who came over from the Eredivisie in 2010, has apparently been on the edge at Newcastle for a while. The Chronicle reported his desired departure back in August before the transfer window closed.
In addition, Alan Pardew made him vice-captain earlier this year, citing an odd need for constant reinforcement for Tiote.
“You need big players like Cheick and Colo [Fabricio Coloccini] at this club and it’s important for their stature to underline that fact at times,” Pardew said at the time.
Now the Newcastle manager will have to navigate yet another off the field hurdle, although Tiote stressed he will remain vigilant on the field, since he realizes he has a job to do at least until the winter window.
“I will focus on upcoming games and let’s see what happens between now and December,” Tiote said.