ALAN Pardew says selling Cheik Tiote is NOT on the agenda at Newcastle United – despite Mehdi Abeid’s emergence at St James’s Park.
Tiote was strongly linked with a move in the summer. And United manager Pardew admitted the interest from an unnamed club, which had a bid rejected, had “unsettled” the midfielder.
Pardew is braced for more interest in Tiote in January’s transfer window. But he is adamant that United are not looking to cash in on the 28-year-old, despite Abeid’s recent form.
Abeid, who was loaned to Panathinaikos last season, starred in the club’s last three league and cup games.
Both players will miss tomorrow’s Premier League home game against Queens Park Rangers through injury.
Tiote is pencilled in to return to training next week after several weeks out with a leg problem, while Abeid suffered a toe injury on international duty with Algeria.
“We have been unlucky with Medhi,” said Pardew. “He’s come in and done Cheik’s job in a similar way, but he will be missing on Saturday, although his injury is not as bad as has been reported.
“He has a small chance for Saturday, and a better one for West Ham (on November 29).”
Asked if he had broken his toe, Pardew added: “Yes, but not one of his significant one. (Tiote) is out, but will probably train next week.
“We’re looking better for next week with personnel being available. Tayls (Steven Taylor) will be fit. We’re a bit shorter than we would like.”
Pardew feels Abeid and Tiote would complement each other on the football field.
He said: “I don’t see a problem with them playing together.
“Medhi can play a more forward role. And the first part (selling Tiote) is not something I have even thought of.”
Tiote, under contract at Newcastle until the summer of 2017, will go to the African Cup of Nations tournament in January with the Ivory Coast, who qualified during the international break.
Abeid, meanwhile, is hoping to be called up by Algeria, who have also qualified.
The 22-year-old, signed in the summer of 2011 from Lens, is under contract at Newcastle for another 18 months.
Abeid a belated Premier League debut for United in the 1-0 win over Liverpool early this month.