Newcastle’s efforts to convince Demba Ba to remove the £7.5m release clause from his contract seem to have failed with the Daily Mail reporting that the Senegalese striker will pocket a cool £2.5m of it when he is eventually sold.
Alan Pardew stated that his star marksman will be flogged should he fail to revoke the stipulation from his current deal and following this latest revelation it appears unlikely that he will.
This has opened the door for a January move with Liverpool and Arsenal set to duke it out for the 27-year-old’s signature.
The Emirates is reported to be the players’ preferred destination and with Arsene Wenger’s penchant for a bargain he’ll find it hard to turn his nose up at Ba.
The former West Ham man has bagged 11 goals this season to add to the 17 he notched in the previous campaign and has remained unaffected by an apparent knee problem that he was thought to have brought with him from the Bundesliga.
With Olivier Giroud ever so slowly finding his feet in the Premier League, Theo Walcott has been moved into the central striking role at Arsenal but with his own future far from certain, Wenger may look to snap up Ba on the cheap to ensure fierce competition for places in the final third as the race for a Champions League berth intensifies.
Liverpool are also in the hunt for his signature and his knack of finding himself in the right place at the right time could make him an ideal addition to their trio of frontmen.
With Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling’s pace and trickery causing defenders up and down the country all kinds of problems, Ba’s ability to put the ball in the net could see an influx of goals for the Anfield club. His physical presence also offers Brendan Rodgers a much-needed alternative option and, unlike Andy Carroll, he isn’t bad with the ball at his feet either so should fit the Northern Irishman’s bill.
However, with the Reds all but certain to complete a move for Daniel Sturridge in January, signing another forward may be regarded as overkill, leaving Arsenal – who can be backed at 4/6 to finish in the top-four – the likeliest destination for Newcastle’s prized goalscoring asset.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date