'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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate