Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, is planning an ambitious January offer for Newcastle United's Ivorian enforcer Cheick Tiote to bolster his midfield. Although the Scot had no plans to make additions to his existing team in January, the fact that Brazilian midfielder Anderson's injury will keep him out for at least four months has convinced Ferguson of the need to make changes to his bidding plans.

The English champions will, it is reported, offer up to £16 million for the Ivory Coast international, who cost his club only £3.5 million when he signed from Dutch side FC Twente. It is believed that high-profile bid may tempt owner Mike Ashley to let the player go.

The Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, has already lost the likes of striker Andy Carroll, midfielders Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan and defender Jose Enrique this year but has still managed to enjoy a good start to the Premiership. Tiote, 25, played in the first nine games of the current season but is currently out of action due to a knee injury.

The midfielder has become a favorite of the fans and the manager, since his arrival at St. James' Park. However, Pardew believes that a lucrative move to Old Trafford may be more than Tiote can resist.

Manchester United are currently in second place in the Premiership, with 30 points.

Cheick Ismael Tiote has made 37 appearances for the Magpies.