Chelsea are in the market for a new midfield signing.

The Daily Express says the Blues are looking to recruit a defensive midfielder in January after selling Raul Meireles and allowing Michael Essien to move to Real Madrid on loan.

Adding urgency to that quest is the fact that John Obi Mikel will be heading to the African Nations Cup with Nigeria in January, along with striker Victor Moses, and both could be away for a month.

Newcastle United's Cheick Tiote is the No1 target but he, too, is likely to play at the tournament, with the Ivory Coast.