'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?
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower