Tiote targets European spot for Newcastle

The Ivorian midfielder is apparently on Chelsea's radar, but with the Magpies still in the race for the Champions League next season, he could be tempted to remain on Tyneside

Cheikh Tiote believes qualifying for Europe with Newcastle United would be the "biggest" moment of his career.

The Magpies have defied all expectations this season and currently sit sixth in the Premier League - level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea and just five behind Tottenham in fourth.

The midfielder has been on one of Newcastle's most important players this season and has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but he hinted he may stay on Tyneside if European football is secured.

“Getting into Europe is the biggest thing for us now and it is very important for us as players and for Newcastle as a club,” the Ivory Coast international told reporters.

“There has been a long time where we have not seen Newcastle in European competitions and we want that to change. It will be a big thing for us to play in Europe next season."

Newcastle are 10/1 with Sportingbet to finish in the Premier League's top four this season.

Magpies manager Alan Pardew has played down talk of Newcastle snatching the fourth Champions League spot but Tiote is refusing to rule anything out.

“The first target is obviously the Europa League," he continued. "But why shouldn’t we be thinking about the Champions League as well? Who knows, it could happen.

“We have got ourselves into a good position, but any talk about Europe will mean nothing if we don’t keep winning between now and the end of the season.

"If we qualify for Europe, I will look back on this season as one of the best in my career.”

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