Chelsea are weighing up a surprise move for Newcastle United midfielder Cheik Tiote.

The Mirror says the Ivory Coast powerhouse is under consideration at Chelsea after Michael Essien was ruled out for six months with a knee injury.

The Ivory Coast star - who only signed a new deal at the club in February - was superb in his first season on Tyneside, with the highlight of his campaign the dramatic equaliser in Newcastle 4-4 draw against Arsenal in March.

Tiote was a favourite of former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti and his successor, Andre Villas-Boas, has heard only glowing reports of the midfielder from his Blues staff.

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Chelsea transfer market news and gossip.