Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote is the subject of serious attention from Serie A side Napoli, who could be set to steal the player from under the noses of Arsenal.
Arsenal have long been linked with a move for the Newcastle midfielder, though he was thought to be down their list of priorities during the summer as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger failed to recruit a defensive minded midfielder due to a lack of value for money for players playing in that position.
Reports in the summer suggested Wenger valued Tiote at around £8 million, but Napoli are prepared to pay double that to lure the player away from the Premier League. They will also sanction wages of £80,000 per week for the player, nearly double his current £45,000 per week wages at Newcastle.
Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is often known to be tracking Premier League players due to his experience of the league with Liverpool and Chelsea, with recent examples of players who have moved from the Premier League to the Serie A side including Swansea forward Michu and midfielder Jonathan de Guzman, and Liverpool’s Pepe Reina.
Arsenal appear to have their sights set on higher priority targets, such as Sami Khedira, who is believed to have agreed terms with the Gunners.
Tiote’s contract with Newcastle expires in 2017, giving him more than two years remaining on his present deal.