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Tiote keen to stay with Newcastle despite Russian link
CHEIK Tiote insists he has no intention of leaving Newcastle United this summer despite continued interest from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow.
Tiote's future has been thrown into doubt following a disappointing season in which he failed to reproduce the form he displayed in his first two campaigns for the Magpies.
A string of niggling injuries contributed to the midfielder's struggles, and with Alan Pardew looking to overhaul his squad in the light of last season's relegation battle, it has been suggested the Ivory Coast international could be sacrificed in order to swell the coffers.
Lokomotiv Moscow are understood to have inquired about Tiote's potential availability, and the 26-year-old would bring in considerably more than the £3.5m Newcastle paid to sign him from FC Twente in August 2010.
However, the African will not be actively pursuing a move away from the North-East.
"I have a contract with Newcastle," said Tiote, who is currently on international duty ahead of Ivory Coast's World Cup qualifier with Gambia at the weekend. "Unless they want to do business with another club, I will be a Newcastle player."I do enjoy the Premier League and want to play there for many years, but you never know in football."
Pardew remains a strong advocate of Tiote's combative qualities despite last season's struggles.
The tough-tackling midfielder's disciplinary record remains a concern, but with neither Vurnon Anita nor Gael Bigirimana having established themselves in the first team, losing Tiote would leave Newcastle without a naturally defensive central midfielder.
The Magpies are expected to prioritise quality over quantity when they are recruiting players this summer, and are still waiting to hear whether highly-rated youngster Conor Newton will sign a new contract.
Newton, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Scottish Premier League side St Mirren, is currently out of contract.
Newcastle have offered him a one-year deal along with Paul Dummett, who was also on loan at St Mirren last season.
The Scottish press have linked Newton with a possible move to Celtic, something the midfielder feels has been blown out of proportion. However, he admits he is still to decide whether to return to the Newcastle ranks.
"I haven't signed on with Newcastle yet, but there is a deal on the table," said Newton. "I need to have a proper look at it once I get myself together.
"The past six months is probably the most football I've played in my career so far so I just need to rest up for a few weeks. I understand there is an offer from St Mirren as well so that is definitely still a possibility.
"I'd like to have made my decision within the next two weeks as the start of the season isn't far off. It's a big decision whether I stay with Newcastle or move on. I've been there since I was nine years old and if I am to move on, it will be a massive thing for me.
"I went out to Hong Kong for a tournament with the Newcastle lads after the season ended with St Mirren and it was great being back in amongst them. I've missed the banter.
"But I don't think there's much chance of me getting regular football at Newcastle next season. They plan to sign us (Newton and Dummett) and then put us straight back out on loan again. I just need to weigh up my options."
Meanwhile, another Newcastle youngster, Curtis Good, has been named in the Australia squad for the forthcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup.