Pardew: Tiote will only leave if price is right

Alan Pardew insists it would be "very, very difficult" for any club to sign Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote during the January transfer window.

Tiote has been a revelation on Tyneside since joining from Dutch outfit FC Twente last summer, and his performances haven’t gone unnoticed with Chelsea linked with a move for the powerful Ivorian in the New Year.

Pardew understands why the 25-year-old, who signed a six-and-a-half year contract with the Magpies back in February, would be coveted by a number of the Premier League’s bigger clubs, but is confident the player will remain at St. James’ Park beyond January.

"He's a big target because he's a great player, and great players are going to be targets," Pardew said.

"We are always on our guard with Cheick because we realise that, to us, he is very, very important and it would be very, very difficult to get him out of here."

However, the Newcastle manager accepts that a sizeable bid for Tiote, more than the £3.5 million they paid for his services back in 2010, could leave the Geordie outfit with a decision to make regarding his future.

"You never know with the window. It's such a minefield of possibilities," he added.

"We have one or two players here that top clubs, I'm sure, will be interested in. But the one thing I would say on that is that they are going to have to pay a lot of money to take anybody out of here because we are obviously in a good position, not just on the playing side, but financially as well.

"In terms of players coming in, there is certainly one player who will come in and we are hoping maybe two - if we don't lose anybody."

By Ben McAleer