CHEIK Tiote’s extended stay in Ghana is hampering Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew’s pre-season preparations.
Tiote – who is in Accra getting his visa renewed – will miss tomorrow’s home friendly against Fiorentina.
While his team-mates take on the Serie A side, the 25-year-old will be being put through his paces by physio Derek Wright, who travelled with him to West Africa.
Goalkeeper Steve Harper is also out of the club’s final warm-up game with a knee injury, as is Hatem Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie and Shane Ferguson.
Tiote also missed Newcastle’s visit to Leeds United on Sunday, and Pardew has admitted his absence is a frustration, as he won’t have played alongside new midfield partner Yohan Cabaye before the club take on Arsenal on August 13. The derby at Sunderland is just a week later.
“Cheik’s still trying to get his visa,” Pardew said.
“It’s nothing to do with the football club – it’s nothing to do with the British end. We’re putting enough pressure on them.
“It’s not ideal. Derek’s out there, and it’s the best scenario we can have. We’ve tried to get a local team (for him to train with), but it’s not really working out.
“We need to make sure it’s structured. He’s doing a lot of fitness work, and Cheik will pick the ball up no problem.”