'I like Demba Ba, yes - will Arsenal sign him? I say no': Arsene Wenger rules out move for Newcastle striker

Senegal striker has £7.5m release clause in his contract

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out a move for Newcastle striker Demba Ba.

Ba has been on top form for the Magpies this season, scoring 11 goals to add to the 16 he bagged last term.

Toon boss Alan Pardew admitted yesterday that Ba would be sold if he did not remove the £7.5million release clause in his contract.

Arsenal are one of a number of clubs who have been linked with the 27-year-old, but even though Wenger admits he is a good striker, the Frenchman insists he has no plans to sign the player.

"I like Demba Ba, yes," the Arsenal manager said ahead of his team's match against Newcastle tomorrow.

"I don't think [this] is the right place to speak about that, because he plays against us tomorrow.

"I wouldn't like to put Newcastle or us or him in an uncomfortable position. If you ask me 'do we sign Demba Ba?' I say no."

Wenger has been linked with a host of strikers as they try to cement a top-four finish in the second half of the season.

Top of Wenger's to-do list remains securing the future of Theo Walcott, however.

Walcott's contract expires next summer and he has so far refused to pen a new deal, but Wenger insists he is confident about keeping the forward, who has played in his favoured position of striker in the Gunners' last two games.

"Yes [talks are ongoing]. Yes [I remain optimistic]," Wenger said.

Wenger refused to comment on claims he is interested in Barcelona's David Villa, but he was more forthcoming on the possibility of re-signing Thierry Henry for a second loan spell.

Wenger earlier this week played down reports he would sign the New York Red Bulls striker during the Major League Soccer off-season, but he appeared open to the prospect of re-signing the Gunners' record scorer, who has been training with the Londoners for the last few weeks.

"I've not lost interest in him," Wenger said.

"He's still coming today to practice with us.

"We have a close relationship. I think he has had a second spell at the club that was very successful. You have to be cautious that it's not one time too many.

"I have not completely (ruled out a second loan spell) but I haven't spoken about it with him at all."

Wenger confirmed this morning that Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky have overcome illness and are available for tomorrow evening's home game against Newcastle.

PA

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea