Chelsea are prepared to table a £20 million for Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote, according to the Sunday mirror.
Tiote, 25, who has been a first-team regular under Magpies manager Alan Pardew, has been a transfer target for the Blues since the January transfer windows.
Despite being rejected twice, it is rumoured that Chelsea have made the signing of the Ivory Coast international as a top priority in a bid to shore up their midfield strength to challenge for honours.
Tiote, well-known for being a combative midfielder, will provide much cover in front of the Chelsea defence, which has been under criticism recently after a string of poor performances.
However, is he a good choice for acting as a defensive shield? While it is evident that his qualities lies in his passing ability and physical strength, Tiote is perhaps not exactly the best choice. He may be a regular at Newcastle, but he is definitely a different class from the likes of current Chelsea vice-captain Frank Lampard. His goal tally is also not entirely attractive, with only 1 goal from 35 games for the Magpies.
Lampard is a strong player who holds the ball well, and is able to dictate play from the middle of the park. He can also score goals from various ranges with pinpoint accuracy, a plus point that Chelsea has benefited from over the years. Perhaps a playermaker similar to Lampard would be a better choice instead?