Tiote sees future with Newcastle

Ivorian eyes strong finish to season with Magpies

Cheick Tiote: Sees his future at St James' Park

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Highly-rated Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has shrugged off the transfer speculation surrounding him to insist his future lies on Tyneside.

The Ivory Coast international, who has enhanced his reputation in the Premier League since his £3.5million switch from FC Twente during the summer of 2010, has been linked with a big-money switch to Chelsea, while a series of other potential suitors are also monitoring his situation.

However, Tiote, who could return to the Magpies team against Stoke on Saturday after shaking off a hamstring injury, is happy where he is as he attempts to help the club realise their improbable UEFA Champions League dream.

He told the Evening Chronicle: "I'm a Newcastle player - my future is at Newcastle.

Europe

"I'm playing for Newcastle and I have to finish this season strongly and help the team get into Europe.

"If we do that, it will be good for the club and the fans. We are in a great position now."

Tiote has played a central role in Newcastle's return to prominence, and while both the Africa Cup of Nations and injury have interrupted his campaign, his partnership with summer arrival Yohan Cabaye has been key.

The 25-year-old was a revelation in his first season in English football after being signed by former boss Chris Hughton, and his spectacular late equaliser in a remarkable 4-4 draw with Arsenal, as well as his combative style, have won him a place in Geordie folklore.