Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has rubbished quotes attributed to him which claimed he was subject to interest from Arsenal last summer and wants to leave St James' Park in the January 2015 transfer window.
The Ivory Coast international is an important figure in the Toon first team under Alan Pardew, but the club have suffered a recent decline which sees them in the Premier League relegation zone after six matches this season.
Tiote has often been subject of speculation regarding his future with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United having all been linked with a move for the 28-year-old during the early years of his career in the north east.
Though those rumours had subsided, Tiote had claimed to reporters in his homeland that Arsenal had lodged official interest in his services, while declaring his intent in leaving Newcastle for pastures new.
"I want to leave," Tiote reportedly said. "I've spent four years with Newcastle. I think I have reached a stage where it's maybe time for me to look elsewhere for a new challenge.
"I will focus on upcoming games and let's see what happens between now and December. It is true there were contacts for me from Arsenal and a club in Russia. I'd prefer to stay in England."
However, in a statement on the Newcastle official website, Tiote has distanced himself from those comments and insists he remains committed to the club – who host Swansea City this weekend looking for a first league win of the season.
"I saw the quotes that appeared yesterday, but they are not accurate," Tiote told nufc.co.uk. "Yes, there was some interest in me over the summer and that can be a bit distracting, but nothing came of it.
"I'm back to full fitness and only thinking about doing my best for the team. We are not in a good position in the league right now and I want to get us up to where we should be. I am as committed as I have ever been to Newcastle."