Chelsea agree fee with Newcastle for Demba Ba

Senegal striker has £7.5m release clause

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The Independent Football

Chelsea have agreed a fee with Newcastle for striker Demba Ba after making an official bid.

The Senegal international has a release clause, understood to be £7.5m, which has been triggered by the European champions.

A statement on Newcastle's website read: "Newcastle United can confirm that Chelsea Football Club has made an official offer for Demba Ba which has triggered the release clause in the player's contract. The Club has given the player permission to speak to Chelsea FC and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight's game against Everton."

Chelsea's interest in the striker emerged last weekend however it appeared a move was dead in the water almost as soon as it had been revealed.

It was reported that preliminary discussions between representatives of the player and Chelsea broke up with the deal on the table nowhere near the Senegal international's expectations. Ba's representatives indicated that the striker did not expect to end up in west London come the end of the January transfer window following the failed talks.

However the deal now appears back on after Newcastle confirmed the official bid from Chelsea.

Ba will miss tonight's match against Everton as he travels to London to begin talks.

The Blues are desperately seeking a new striker with Daniel Sturridge having completed his move to Liverpool. With the England international having left for Anfield, Chelsea have just Fernando Torres as a recognised striker.

Manager Rafael Benitez said yesterday: "You can always improve things, especially when you have injuries, and we lose two players to the African Cup of Nations. Obviously we need bodies but I am really pleased with the squad."

While the initial fee of £7.5m for a player with Ba's track record, including 13 league goals this season, appears a bargain, the true cost of the deal could be much more. The Independent revealed that the total could be closer to £30m once agent fees of £5m and a four-year deal worth £80,000 a week are factored in.

Newcastle themselves have been trying to renegotiate the contract Ba signed after joining from West Ham in 2011 but to no avail. Yet Pardew has said in the past that he has never received any indication that the player wishes to leave St James' Park.

Today's news will be a huge blow for the Magpies who are on a dreadful run which has seen them win just two of their last 11 league games. In the short term Papiss Cisse will take responsibility for leading the line, however it seems likely Newcastle will be active in the current transfer window.

West Brom forward Peter Odemwingie is one player linked with a move to the north east.


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