Steve McClaren has urged Cheick Tiote to turn his back on a mega-money move to China and help Newcastle in their fight to avoid Premier League relegation.
Tiote was a surprise inclusion in the United side that defeated West Brom 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday, with McClaren quick to praise the Ivorian’s “fight and character” in the game.
Tiote, 29, was expected to leave St James’ Park for China after holding talks with Shanghai Shenhua but a deal has yet to be finalised with the player reportedly wanting time to consider his options.
And now McClaren admits he has changed his mind on the £8million sale of the player after Tiote impressed.
“Tiote has only been back training [following a knee injury] with us for two days but he’s 100 per cent committed,” McClaren said.
“If he keeps his composure and passes simply, he’s a very good player. I hope he stays now.”
“With (Steven) Taylor and Tiote we had fight and character on the field. Their spirit is exactly what we need. If you get that from those two, the rest follow. They’re so aggressive in the way they play.”
Frenchman Henri Saivet was signed in the January transfer window in part to cover for Tiote’s expected departure.
But Saivet will have to battle for his place in a now-congested midfield after McClaren also landed Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey during the window.
As for Tiote, the player is still not guaranteed a stay in the North-East, with the Chinese transfer window extending until 26 February.
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