Last Updated: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 07:00
Newcastle are facing another battle to keep hold of Cheick Tiote as Chelsea step up their interest in the midfielder.
Toon boss Alan Pardew fought off late interest in the battling midfielder just before the last transfer window closed and it looks as though he will have to do the same in January.
Chelsea were one of the clubs keen to do a deal back in August and they are in for him again after losing Oriol Romeu for the rest of the season with cruciate knee ligament damage.
Interim boss Rafa Benitez has hinted there will be one or two new signings in January and a holding midfielder is high on his list following the loss of Romeu.
Pardew will do all he can to keep Tiote but he has admitted that he is virtually powerless if one of the big boys come in and are willing to pay the going rate.
Demba Ba has also been linked with Chelsea and with Benitez also in the hunt for a new striker, a double bid could be on the cards next month.
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