Liverpool ready to move for Newcastle’s £7m Demba Ba
Newcastle are bracing themselves for a £7m move from Liverpool for on-song marksman Demba Ba.
Ba fired two goals against Reading as Alan Pardew’s men secured a point at the Madejski Stadium.
However, fears are growing in the North-East that the Senegalese forward could be snapped up in January for as little as £7m.
That fee is the amount reported to release Ba from his existing contract at the club, with Pardew admitting he could be powerless to stop his star striker from leaving.
“There is that clause in his contract and it makes us vulnerable,” said Pardew.
“It’s still open in the next window.”
The London-born boss is anxious over the future of Newcastle’s number 19 partly due to comments surfacing in the press from the player and the lack of form from Ba’s strike partner Papiss Cisse.
In the second half of last season Cisse eclipsed Ba on the scoresheet after his January move from Freiburg, causing Pardew to leave the ex-West Ham man on the bench at the beginning of this campaign.
The 27-year-old has started the last two games for the Geordie side, although he may feel that the time is right to improve on his £50,000 a week contract elsewhere.
Quotes from Ba’s agent Alex Gontran before the French-born player’s return to the Newcastle starting line-up indicate a move could be on the cards.
“Since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, Demba doesn’t understand the management,” said Gotran.
“If he continues to be a substitute all season we will look at other solutions.”
The solution may well be that Pardew continues to start his red-hot forward, who has been responsible for Newcastle’s last five league strikes.
However, with rumours circulating that the Magpies board are unhappy with Ba and his agent’s posturing, Premier League suitors are starting to circle.
Liverpool lead the chase for Ba’s signature – who scored 17 goals in his first season for the Toon – and the possibility of Andy Carroll returning to Newcastle could help any potential deal materialise.
The Merseyside club can recall Carroll from his loan spell at West Ham in January, which would provide a tempting way of securing Ba.
However, for now Ba looks set to continue scoring on Tyneside, with Carroll still recovering from injury in the capital.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.