Since the beginning of the summer transfer window to now, Sporting Gijon have made 13 signings.

After scraping La Liga survival last season the club had an overhaul, however, it’s not worked and they’re currently 18th in La Liga.

The reaction has been: Sign more players.

This is where Newcastle United come into the equation. Sporting want a midfielder who can perform a number of roles and believe Cheick Tiote could be that man.

Clearly out of Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle plans, Tiote has a contract with the Championship club which ends in June and almost certainly won’t be offered a renewal to stay at St James’ Park.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 10.27.09Spanish newspaper Marca say sporting director Nico Rodriguez has travelled to Newcastle to ‘close the operation’, and it would work like this: Sporting pay nothing in terms of transfer fee or loan fee, and only pay a part of Tiote’s wages, with Newcastle paying the rest until his contract runs out in the summer.

That sounds a pretty rubbish deal for Newcastle but Sporting, having packed their roster with players they now largely don’t use, have very little wriggle room financially. It doesn’t sound like they’d be prepared to commit to giving Tiote a contract beyond the end of the season, at this stage anyway.

Newcastle may well be better exploring Buraspor’s interest further, to avoid paying a big chunk of Tiote’s wages for the rest of the season.