Chelsea turn their attentions to Newcastle goal machine
Demba Ba’s tremendous form this season has contributed to a terrific Premier League campaign for Newcastle, and Chelsea have become the latest club to join the striker’s growing list of admirers.
Ba’s 16 goal haul has attracted a host of clubs to his talents, with Tottenham and Arsenal reported to have taken up a firm interest in the player in January, when it was revealed that the 26-year-old has a £10million release clause in his contract.
Such a fee would not prove problematic in the slightest for Chelsea, who are determined to beef up their attacking options as Didier Drogba has now turned 34, Fernando Torres is still scratching around for form, and Daniel Sturridge is more frequently used in a wide role.
It has been an astonishing rise to prominence for Ba, whom Stoke decided against signing in the summer, after manager Tony Pulis described his knees as a “ticking time bomb” in the aftermath of a Britannia Stadium medical.
After proving he can stay fit for the majority of a Premier League campaign though, whilst scoring regularly in the process, he is now wanted by clubs with very real Champions League ambitions.
Chelsea have been linked with Ba’s Toon team-mates Tim Krul and Cheick Tiote this week too, and Newcastle fans will be desperate to see their club avoid a fire-sale of assets who have contributed greatly to a Europa League charge this season.
However, with such a modest release clause reportedly active in Ba’s contract, it is difficult to imagine any interested parties being unwilling to pay the required £10million, and so the Senegalese striker could soon have a difficult decision to make regarding his future.
Papiss Cisse has already been brought in by Magpies boss Alan Pardew, and his arrival at St. James’s Park could foreshadow Ba’s summer departure.