Ba set to join Chelsea as striker agrees three-and-a-half year deal at the Bridge
Neil Ashton and Sami Mokbel
00:57 GMT, 3 January 2013
12:02 GMT, 3 January 2013
Demba Ba is on the verge of joining Chelsea from Newcastle after agreeing a three-and-a-half year contract.
The Senegal striker, left out of the Newcastle squad for the game against Everton ahead of his proposed 7million switch, underwent a medical on Wednesday.
Ba could be handed an instant role in the weekend FA Cup clash against Southampton.
Away: Demba Ba looks set to join Chelsea after being given permission to speak to the Stamford Bridge club
Chelsea interim manager Rafael
Benitez said after the club's shock 1-0 defeat at home to QPR: ‘Fernando
Torres is one of the players we need to rest, he has been playing too
many games. I don’t have any official information about the situation.
'Officially he (Ba) is not our player. The club are working on it and we
can talk about him when it’s official.
‘If we can do the business then, hopefully, he can be available for the weekend.’
Newcastle confirmed Chelsea had triggered the striker’s 7m release
clause and that he had been left out of Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat to
hold talks with Chelsea officials.
The Stamford Bridge club saw off late interest from Arsenal in Ba, who,
it is understood, will earn around 70,000 a week at his new club — a
significant improvement on his terms in the North East.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told Sky Sports: ‘It’s done, he’ll go to Chelsea with our blessing.
Main man: Ba has been in fine form for Newcastle, scoring 13 goals in a struggling side this season
‘For us, it’s not a bad thing because all the uncertainty over whether
he was going to stay, it’s now done. We are bigger than any player so in
some respects I’m pleased.’
Chelsea’s bid looked in the balance on Sunday after talks between Ba’s
representatives and club officials broke down over his wage demands.
Sportsmail understands Ba’s advisors initially rejected Chelsea’s
attempts to hold further talks on Monday, saying they wanted to speak
with other interested parties.
But, after a significant breakthrough, Chelsea moved quickly on Wednesday.
Get shirty: An image quickly circulated on Twitter of a Chelsea shirt being printed with 'Ba'
The Senegal striker, 27, joined Newcastle in 2011 from West Ham and has
scored 29 goals in 54 league games for them. But he has been
consistently linked with a move away from the club because of the
release clause in his contract.
Newcastle have tried several times to persuade the striker to sign a
new, improved deal in a bid to get rid of the clause but Ba has always
Benitez had put a new striker at the top of his January shopping list
after Liverpool’s 12m capture of Daniel Sturridge, which was confirmed
on Wednesday, left Torres as his only recognised striker.
Owner Roman Abramovich remains interested in Atletico Madrid’s Radamel
Falcao but it is looking increasingly likely the Russian will have to
wait until the summer to land him.
Wave goodbye: Ba looks set to bid farewell to Tyneside and move south to London
Newcastle will step up their pursuit of Marseille striker Loic Remy after Ba’s departure.
The 26-year-old France striker, who has scored 82 goals in six years in
the French league, was identified as Newcastle’s top target even before
Newcastle are hoping to see off late interest from QPR and West Ham to land Remy. They have also shown an interest in Ajax’s Holland youth forward Jody Lukoki.