According to Sky Sports, Al Jazira’s bid for Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote has been rejected.
The UK news outlet claims that The Pride of Abu Dhabi are prepared to offer Tiote a “multi-million pound three-year deal” should they be able to strike a deal with the Championship club.
Reports emerged this week that Tiote was on Jazira’s wishlist ahead of the new Arabian Gulf League season and it now appears their interest has been hardened with a bid.
It is unknown at this time whether the President’s Cup champions will return with an increased offer but they will have been encouraged by reports that Tiote is eager to move on this summer and that a lucrative deal in the AGL is of interest.
The 30-year-old was left out of his side’s pre-season friendly with Southend United this week but is now back in pre-season training with the rest of Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle squad.
Tiote, 30, is eager to leave after relegation from the Premier League last season. The Pride of Abu Dhabi believe the Ivory Coast defensive midfielder can add steel to a side which possessed the third-worst defensive record as they finished a disappointing seventh in the Arabian Gulf League, despite an improvement under mid-season appointment Henk ten Cate.
The August 2010 signing from the Netherlands’ FC Twente has only one year left on his contract, creating a high probability of a sale.
Interest exists from elsewhere in the English top flight, while a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray broke down in recent weeks.
Tiote did not travel with his team-mates for a friendly against Southend United on Tuesday, sparking reports that an exit was imminent. Links to the player from Jazira had originally appeared in the British press during June.
Coach Ten Cate’s men are currently formulating plans for next term. The club’s hierarchy are keen to make some high-profile recruits, this desire coming from the fact champions Al Ahli and runners-up Al Ain appear unlikely at this moment to significantly strengthen.
At least two spots look set to open in their four-player foreign quota, with Peru forward Jefferson Farfan, Spanish playmaker Angel Lafita and Brazil attacking midfielder Thiago Neves all told they are up for sale. Montenegro marksman Mirko Vucinic and South Korea centre midfielder Park Jong-woo should be retained, although the rumoured pursuit of Tiote could put the latter at risk.
The Ivorian destroyer made 20 top-flight appearances last season as Newcastle dropped into the Championship. He has scored once during 153 games in all competitions, also collecting 58 bookings and two sendings off.
Tiote has flirted with a transfer to Asia before, being linked strongly with Shanghai Shenhua last summer. If the player fully intends to switch continents, Jazira should have a free run at him after the Chinese Super League’s transfer window closed last week.
Jazira are one of three AGL clubs yet to make a foreign signing this summer, but they have been active domestically. An arrangement with Al Ain to return veteran midfielder Ibrahim Diaky to them and bring in UAE right-back Mohammed Fawzi will soon be announced, while Salem Abdulla from Al Wasl and Humaid Ahmed from Fujairah have also arrived.
Repetto, 42, has emerged as the main candidate to succeed Dr Abdullah Misfer, potentially bringing an end to a circuitous quest. A multi-year contract should be inked once the Uruguayan travels to the Middle East on Friday.
The Sky Blues’ target may arrive on the back of a continental triumph, with the second leg of the decider against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional being played out in the early hours of Thursday morning UAE time. Ecuador’s Independiente travel to Colombia after a 1-1 draw during last week’s opening clash.
Victory will provide entry to December’s prestigious FIFA Club World Cup and possible exposure on a grander stage. But this scenario is not expected to terminate the switch.
Repetto had an undistinguished career as a player, featuring mainly for Centro Atletico Fenix before serious injury struck. After spells as a coach at several Uruguayan sides and Bolivia’s Club Blooming, he moved to Independiente four years ago.
Los Negriazules have proven giantkillers during the latest Libertadores, Argentinian heavyweights River Plate and Boca Juniors being slain on the way to the final. This aspect will appeal to Bani, who finished a disappointing ninth last term in the Arabian Gulf League under Dr Misfer and predecessor Luis Garcia.
DONIS DOUBLE-TAKE AS SHARJAH UP OFFER
Ambitious Sharjah have been rewarded for returning to the negotiating table with Giorgos Donis after an increased financial offer convinced him to perform a U-turn on becoming their next boss.
Donis, 46, rejected a two-year package last week worth $5 million for himself and his technical staff. But the addition of an extra $1m per annum has persuaded the ex-Al Hilal supremo to suspend thoughts of returning to European club management and head for the AGL.
The 24-times-capped Greece midfielder travelled to the UAE on Wednesday to put the finishing touches to the deal which will see him replace rookie Abdulaziz Al Anbari.
This move is the latest show of strength from the King, who are determined to avoid a third-successive scrap against relegation. They have already made the eye-catching capture of Venezuela striker Gelmin Rivas, who at giants Al Ittihad was second top scorer during the 2015/16 Saudi Professional League.
One of Hilal centre-back Digao, 28, or Deportivo Tachira’s Wilker Angel, 23, will come in to boost the defence. Another former charge from Hilal in forward Ailton, 31, and Kuwait centre midfielder Aziz Mashaan, 27, have also been linked.