Arsenal are preparing to activate Demba Ba’s £7 million transfer release clause at Newcastle United.
The Gunners have until July 31st, two weeks yesterday, to finalise the move for the Senegalese international who impressed last season with 16 Premier League strikes. However the majority of his goals came in the first half of the season and he has become unsettled on Tyneside this year when his form dipped and he was overshadowed by Papiss Cisse’s goal spree since his arrival in the January transfer window.
The 27-year-old has reportedly already held talks with Turkish giants Fenerbache and Galatasary over a move away from the club after they activated his release clause but Ba’s contract demands of over £50,000 a week weren’t met.
Most Newcastle fans still seem convinced that Ba won’t be wearing black and white by the start of next season and it does seem that The Magpies are planning for life after him, this week making an ambitious bid to bring back Andy Carroll to St. James’ Park. Ba would then go from a striker who was placed out wide in an uncomfortable position to a player who was stuck on the bench.
Caught Offside reports that Wenger watched Ba play in Monday’s pre-season friendly against his former club Monaco, where Ba “scored” (well, he forced an own goal out of the poor Monaco ‘keeper) in a 1-0 victory. If you can call it a Ba strike, it was his first since his barren goal spell started six months ago.
Wenger may be in need of a quick forward replacement if Robin Van Persie makes his expected Emirates exit in the coming weeks and Ba’s ability to get goals and his cut-down price seems to fit the bill.
Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea and Andre Villas-Boas’ Spurs are also admirers of Ba, but at least in the case of the latter they have been put off by his degenerative knee problem which makes him insurable against injury.
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