Newcastle United star, Cheick Tiote, has refuted claims he is about to leave the club, and insists his future lies on Tyneside.
The Ivory Coast midfielder has been a revelation since his £3.5m switch from FC Twente, in the summer of 2010. He impressed enough to be offered a new six-and-a-half year deal, in February 2011. The contract will keep Tiote at Newcastle until 2017.
The length of the deal has not deterred interested parties, with Chelsea among the clubs reported to be lining up a bid for the 25-year-old.
Despite the interest, Tiote has no intention of going anywhere. He wants to help the side claim an unexpected Champions League place.
"I'm a Newcastle player; my future is at Newcastle. I'm playing for Newcastle and I have to finish this season strongly to help the team get into Europe", Tiote told the Evening Chronicle.
"If we do that, it will be good for the club and the fans. We are in a great position now."
Newcastle are all but assured of a place in Europe, next season, after Liverpool beat Everton in last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final. The Football Association confirmed the result means that a sixth place finish in the Premier League will earn a Europa League spot for the Magpies.
Following an incredible season, the Magpies will not be content with (only) a first European appearance since 2006. They have their eyes on a top-four spot with five games remaining. The team have a good chance of accomplishing their goal, according to the Premier League best odds.
Newcastle sit fifth, level on points with Tottenham Hotspur in fourth, and five points behind Arsenal, with a game in hand. They face Stoke City at home, on Saturday. The side could be a fixture of Champions League knock-out bets, next year.
Tiote has played a central role in Newcastle's return to prominence. The club will be looking to add to their key men in the summer, rather than have to replace them.