Newcastle striker Demba Ba says a switch to Arsenal is 'tempting'

Senegal international has £7.5m release clause, although real cost may prove higher
  • @simonrice

Newcastle striker Demba Ba has spoken about a possible switch to Arsenal during the January transfer window.

The Senegal international has long been linked with an exit from St James' Park, ever since it was revealed that the 27-year-old has a £7.5m release clause in his contract.

Arsenal have been among the clubs consistently linked with a move, and Ba admits that should Arsene Wenger make an offer, he would be interested.

“It is true that Arsenal are among the clubs that are tempting,” Ba is quoted in The Sun as saying.

He added: "Journalists are doing their job, they know Arsenal need strikers and they know I have a clause in my contract so they start speculating."

Ba has scored 27 league goals in 51 appearances since he joined the Magpies on a free transfer in 2011. Such a return makes the £7.5m fee appear a bargain, however as The Independent reported earlier this month, any transfer may prove much more costly - perhaps totalling a staggering £30m.

It is believed the fees required to pay those representing Ba would be around £5m.

A four-year deal at £80,000 a week, the figures his representatives are asking for, would mean any buying club would have to put together a £16m wage package. The entire package would cost more than £30m – and Ba would be entitled to half of the £7.5m transfer fee.

There is also the problem of insuring his knee. That was the reason why Stoke City pulled the plug on signing him in 2011 when he first moved from Hoffenheim.

Arsenal may instead turn their attention to Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who they have been strongly linked with.