Cheik Tiote has reiterated his commitment to Newcastle United, stressing he is "very happy" at the club.
Tiote, 26, has impressed for Newcastle since joining the club from FC Twente in 2010 for £3.5 million.
His form has led to speculation linking him with a move away from St James' Park, with Manchester United and Chelsea both said to be interested.
But the Ivory Coast international has told the Evening Chronicle: "I am still a Newcastle player. I am very happy here.
"All I am looking at is that the season ahead of us will be a really good one, just like last season. Last season we finished fifth and doing that again will be difficult."
Of the campaign ahead, which will see the Magpies compete in the Europa League, he added "I am ready for the challenge with Newcastle. It's a new season, and I think we have a lot of things to do.
"We will be playing in two competitions and it's going to be difficult."