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Newcastle fear they may lose midfielder Cheick Tiote this summer with Manchester United and Chelsea both keen on the Ivorian.

The 25-year-old has built on a brilliant first year in England following his cut-price move from FC Twente in 2012.

Newcastle are still in the mix for a Champions League place, which is in no small part of Tiote, despite him missing six weeks while on international duty.

He has made 16 Premier League appearances, just two of which have ended in a Toon defeat, and has a contract until 2017.

But now Newcastle chairman Derek Llambias has admitted a big-money offer would be difficult to turn down.

He said: ‘We’ll be losing one or two names this summer, but that’ll be regenerated back into the squad. For instance, Tiote has been with us a year and a half. He is out there. People know he’s a good player.

‘He’s proven in the Premier League, he’s not picking up as many yellow cards, he’s learning. How are we going to stop a big club from coming in for him? It’ll be very hard.’

‘How are we going to stop a big club from coming in for him? It’ll be very hard. One thing in our favour is that we now have a very good side and that might encourage the player to stay.

‘But if someone knocks on the door and says they want this or that money, the reality may be that we have to trade.’

Regardless of Tiote’s future, Llambias is confident Newcastle can rival those around them for the signature of star names.

He said: ‘We have targets for the summer, and we’re not in a position of having to beg. People are saying, “Ah Newcastle. Of course we want to talk to you”.

‘We do a brilliant video presentation – very sharp, it is great – and it opens eye to what the club, the fans and the city are all about.’

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