Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote is set to leave the club, after manager Rafa Benitez confirmed the player was in talks with a Chinese club.
The 30-year-old Ivorian has struggled to play regularly for the last two years and has found himself on the sidelines for the majority of this season.
Speaking to the media this lunchtime, Benitez announced Tiote was in talks with a Chinese side, rumoured to be Shandong Luneng, and admitted he was "confident" the deal would go through.
Keeping his cards close to his chest, the Spaniard didn't confirm the deal would did seem to suggest it would be completed.
Tiote has featured only a handful of times under Benitez, through lack of form and fitness. He is currently Newcastle's fourth choice central midfielder.
Not getting hopes up
Newcastle supporters are unlikely to shed many tears about the departure of a player who has raked in big wage packets despite not playing often. However, fans know not to get their hopes up when it comes to Tiote leaving the club.
The midfielder was close to agreeing a move to China last year, only for the deal to collapse once he arrived in Shanghai.
Numerous Spanish and Turkish clubs were linked with Tiote at the start of the window but with the Chinese window being open for another month, it is likely the Middle East will be his next destination.
Despite his recent lack of games, Tiote has given fans some good memories from his time in the North East.
Apart from those two efforts, Tiote's time at Newcastle has been rather mediocre, despite the player having potential.