/ Soccer

Newcastle not drawn on Ba rumours

Updated: Saturday, 07 Jan 2012 17:30

Demba Ba has been one of the stars of the Premier League this season
Demba Ba has been one of the stars of the Premier League this season

Newcastle have no intention of allowing in-form striker Demba Ba to leave the club amid speculation suitors could activate a release-clause in his contract this month.

The Magpies, as is their policy on players' contracts, have declined to comment on reports an offer of up to £10million could prise the Senegal international out of the club.

However, it is understood the 26-year-old is happy with his lot less than seven months into his career with Alan Pardew's side, and the Newcastle hierarchy, while less than impressed with the rumours, remain relaxed about the situation.

Of course, they need no reminding of what happened 12 months ago when, having insisted throughout January Andy Carroll was not for sale, they received a £35million bid from Liverpool which proved to good to turn down.

Ba, who joined the Magpies on a free transfer from relegated West Ham during the summer, has been a sensation, and scored his 15th goal of the campaign in Wednesday night's 3-0 victory over Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United.

His form has lessened the blow of Carroll's departure, which sparked anger at the time, and he has already established himself as a crowd favourite and a deserving recipient of the coveted number nine shirt, which is currently vacant.

Ba, who left for the African Nations Cup this week, has dispelled fears over his fitness with Stoke having pulled out of a move to sign him last year because of worries over his knee.

Pardew has spent the last few weeks bracing himself for approaches for several of his players with the likes of his star striker and Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote having enhanced their reputations since their arrivals on Tyneside, and he is fully aware that even his best players have their price.

But with the club on its firmest financial footing for some time, they have no pressing need to sell and if anyone is to leave, the manager is determined it will only be in return for the kind of eye-watering fee which persuaded them to cash in on Carroll.

Tiote was handed a new six-and-a-half year contract after impressing during his fist six months with the club last season, and it would be no surprise if the board attempted to tie up Ba's future - his current deal runs until the summer of 2014 - in another pre-emptive strike.

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