Following on from their marvellously successful 2011-12 season, a handful of the Newcastle United playing staff were always going to attract a lot of transfer attention this summer and should they fail to qualify for the Champions League, Chelsea are thought to be weighing up a move for Cheik Tioté.
The Ivorian international has gained a notable reputation as being one of the more consistent defensive midfielders in the Premier League this season and is thought to be on the shopping list of Inter Milan also.
Tioté moved to Tyneside for just £3.5m back in 2010 and if he were to complete a move away from the Magpies, would be expected to boast a price-tag of around £14m due to the fact that the middle man is contracted to the side until 2017.
As a result, Alan Pardew may not have the final say in whether his player stays or leaves with such a big opportunity for profit, as the club looks to build on this campaign’s performance.
Chelsea are rumoured to be letting several midfielders go this season with John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda all thought to be on the chopping block.
Also, Oriol Romeu, despite having only arrived at Stamford Bridge last season, could be on his way back to Barcelona this season after stories emerged of a release clause in the players contract in December.
The clause means that Barça have first option on Romeu and can buy him back at a reduced fee. Chelsea would still have to want to sell their player but it can often be tricky to maintain the full allegiance of a player once his mind is made up.
Whether or not Chelsea do let players go at the end of this season, changes are bound to happen to the squad so that they may improve upon a disappointing league season and Tioté has shown himself to be a Champions League quality anchorman at times.