Arsenal, City to destroy Newcastle's top 4 plan

Midfielder Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye are targets

Alan Pardew is desperate to retain his top stars after Newcastle's bid for a top four spot suffered a setback with a 2-0 reversal at the hands of European champions Chelsea.

Pardew is bracing himself for a late bid for midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote before the transfer window slams shut on Friday night, according to the Daily Mail.

Arsenal and Manchester City are both keen on the £20 million-rated Ivorian whose absence with a calf injury was sorely felt on Saturday.

Pardew wants to avoid a situation where he was denied the chance to spend the £35m generated by the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool on the final day of the transfer window in January last year.

He said: “All my bigger players are important and would be hard to replace now.

“You lose a big player at this stage of the season and you have to try to take someone out from somewhere else and they want a replacement and suddenly time is running out.

“We want to avoid losing any of our big players and not being able to get someone in to replace them.

“As far as I’m aware, we haven’t had phone calls about any of our players.”

However, Arsenal are considering a £15 million move for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye as Arsene Wenger looks to bring in two players this week, according to the Daily Mail.

Though the Arsenal manager ruled out a move for Tiote, his clubmate Cabaye is understood to be on a list of targets which also includes Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila.

Wenger said: "I'm pleased with what I have, but yes I anticipate that we will do something. Defensive midfielder? It depends on the quality of the players available. Tiote is a good player, but he's not on the way to Arsenal."


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