By Tom Blackburn
Cheik Tiote has become the latest Newcastle midfielder to be targeted by Marseille, according to a report.
The Mail reported on Wednesday that Newcastle will be offered £2.5million for Tiote by the Ligue 1 club, with Abu Dhabi-based Al Jazira also keen to sign the Ivory Coast international.
Rafa Benitez has insisted he has control over transfer and does not have to sell any of his star players, but the Mail has claimed the player is ready to leave the club.
The 29-year-old reportedly turned down moves to China and Turkey in the January transfer window to see out the season on Tyneside, but played little part in Newcastle’s attempts to stay in the Premier League.
The Ivory Coast international only played 20 games this season, compared to 33 when he was an instrumental player at the club in 2013-14.
Tiote has spent the last six seasons with Newcastle since joining from FC Twente for £3.2million, and has 12 months left on his current contract.
Following Newcastle’s relegation last month a number of players look set to leave, with clubs across the UK and Europe interested.
Remy Cabella, 26, spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Marseille and they are on the verge of signing him permanently for £6.3million.
Thauvin, 23, also spent the second half of the season on loan at Marseille, after failing to impress during the first half of the campaign for Newcastle. The Frenchman has told the club he wishes to leave Tyneside, but a £12million price-tag may deter potential suitors.
In other Newcastle news, they are set to open talks with a 25-year-old midfielder.