Newcastle United fear losing midfielder Cheik Tiote.

Toon chiefs are preparing for the expected departure of the Ivory Coast international.

The People says Tiote is a target for Chelsea.

A £3.5million buy from Twente last August, Tiote is out injured and any move to Stamford Bridge is not likely to come about until the summer.

But Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas is keen to sign the Newcastle player, especially with his midfield anchorman Oriol Romeu the subject of a buy-back option from former club Barcelona.