Pardew admits Ba could still leave while he tries to play down rift with Newcastle striker
20:11 GMT, 19 September 2012
Alan Pardew has taken Demba Ba to task over his agent's outburst but been forced to concede the Newcastle danger man could leave for a knockdown 7million in the January transfer window.
It was widely believed Demba Ba's buy-out clause expired at the end of July, but, as he prepared for Thursday night's Europa League tie against Maritimo, in Madeira, Pardew revealed that it kicks in again in the New Year.
Getting ready: Alan Pardew with defender Mike Williamson ahead of their clash with Maritimo
Heat: Newcastle players train in the sun on Wednesday
The Newcastle manager was delighted
with Demba Ba's two-goal response to going on as a second-half
substitute at Everton on Monday but less impressed with his agent Alex
Gontran's subsequent claim that they may seek a move, if the 27-year old
continued to be left on the bench.
Furious at such a blatant attempt to
influence his selection policy, Pardew held talks with Demba Ba before
leaving Newcastle Airport on Wednesday and made it clear he would not
tolerate such interference.
The set-to came amid a continuing
wrangle over Demba Ba's future, with the former West Ham marksman
leaving club officials dismayed with his pay demands. His current
50,000-a-week contract runs out at the end of next season, and the
figures he has been asking for have evidently been branded unrealistic
by Newcastle and clubs interested in signing him.
'I have spoken to Demba (about his
agent) and told him I was disappointed with some of the comments around
him,' said Pardew. 'Sometimes it's out of his control and out of my
'But we know each other well enough,
and I've got no problems with him, because he is a team player who wants
to do his best for the team. He has always been like that. The
situation with him is ongoing in terms of his contract, as there is that
clause in there and it makes us vulnerable. That's where we are. It's
still open in the next window.
'I just think the agent stuff was
people saying things they shouldn't say, really. It doesn't really
affect myself and Demba, because we've got a very good relationship.
On song: Demba Ba struck twice against Everton
Stretch: Sammy Ameobi during the training session
bottom line is that you have to get your players to play at their best,
and sometimes there are different methods for doing that.
'If I'm honest, he gave me exactly
what I wanted (when he went on at Everton). But I knew there would be a
response from him. Sometimes you've got to be honest, and I don't think
he's played particularly well. The same can be said of Papiss Cisse, so
he might have to deal with missing out next time.'
Pardew made the expected wholesale
changes to his squad and was also forced to leave Cisse behind, after
the striker went down with a sickness bug.
Strong: Pardew says he has a good relationship with Ba
Shola Ameobi will start on a night when 37-year-old Steve Harper hopes to extend a European career which he admits he thought was over.
The goalkeeper made his first senior appearance for the club in almost 17 months in the away leg of the play-off against Greek side Atromitos last month, and as a result of number one Tim Krul's elbow injury, returned to Barclays Premier League action at Everton.
Asked if he thought he would ever play
in Europe again, Harper said: 'Last year, probably not. But this year
it's well-documented the conversation I had with the manager.
said we had a lot of games and if I still wanted it, it was there for
me, so at the start of the year there was light at the end of the tunnel
and here I am.'
spending much of his career as Shay Given's deputy, Harper has
experienced most of the Magpies' big nights on the continental stage.
Ready to go: Steve Harper is set to start
He played in a famous 1-0 Champions League victory over Juventus at St James' Park and was in the side which beat Dynamo Kiev 2-1 in the same competition in 2002-03, while he was on the bench the night Craig Bellamy's late winner against Feyenoord in Rotterdam fired the club into the second group stage.
Harper said: 'Obviously, the two Champions League games against Juventus and Dynamo Kiev were special, the Feyenoord night, going to Barcelona, the San Siro. It was fantastic.
'The good thing about this is, I was able to sit and look at the draw and the bonus is we are going to three places we haven't been to before.
'We are going to Madeira, Bordeaux and Bruges. I was looking at the draw and looking at Partizan Belgrade thinking, “I've been there twice, can we please go somewhere else” Not that there's anything wrong with Belgrade, but you just want to go out and experience new places.
'It's fantastic to come to Maritimo and I'll hopefully get to Bordeaux and Bruges as well.'