peter odemwingie

Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew will turn to West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie to fill the immediate void left by Demba Ba, should he seal his “dream move” to Chelsea this month, according to a report in The Sun.

They claim that talks are ongoing between Chelsea and Ba’s representatives after initial talks reportedly broke down on Sunday night over the Senegalese forward’s wage demands. The striker, easily the Toon’s top scorer this season with 13 league goals (50% of the club’s whole return in the top flight this season), is expected to line-up for The Magpies tonight against Everton at St. James’ Park for what will be first appearance since talking to the European Champions about a move away.

Despite Pardew putting a new contract offer on Ba’s desk and challenging him to commit his future to Newcastle, plans for his exit are already being drawn up and The Sun claim a £3 million move for West Brom’s Odemwingie will soon follow.

The 31-year-old Nigerian forward has only 18 months left on his deal with the Albion and has proved to be a notorious thorn in Newcastle’s side over recent meetings. Last season he scored the opening goal of a fantastic 3-2 win for the Albion over Newcastle at St. James’ Park and the season before fired in two winning goals at the Hawthorns to again defeat Newcastle in front of the Sky cameras, a thrashing that ultimately led to Chris Hughton’s sacking just a day later. Particularly on that day, Newcastle saw at first hand how good Odemwingie can be on his day and his performances since have continuously shown how his pace and tricky endeavour can frighten even the best defenders, including Magpies captain Fabricio Coloccini who often has a torrid time against him.

Odemwingie could only be a short term answer for The Magpies and he is significantly older than the age group Alan Pardew/Mike Ashley/Graham Carr’s recent regime for signings dictate, but if Ba does leave, they can’t afford to be picky with Shola Ameobi possibly leaving to the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria, leaving the inconsistent Papiss Cisse as the club’s only recognised senior striker outside of unwanted players Xisco and Nile Ranger.

The Sun claim Odemwingie wants away from the Albion and almost joined the Qatari League in a high priced deal last summer, only for it to fall through. Albion chiefs are now keen to do business this window rather than see his price drop as he nears the end of his contract.

He almost moved to the cash-rich Qatari League last summer but the Baggies were unable to strike a deal.

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This article was first posted on January 2, 2013