Demba Ba could be followed to Chelsea by Taison, Micah Richards and Radamel Falcao

Senegalese striker set to play in FA Cup – if knee problem does not scupper deal

Chelsea will insist that Demba Ba undergoes a medical in spite of the Newcastle United striker’s chronic knee problem, with the club eager to register him in time for Saturday’s FA Cup tie after last night’s shock league 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

Rafa Benitez’s players were booed at Stamford Bridge following their first home defeat in almost 30 years to their west London rivals. There were suggestions that Ba was in the stadium after Alan Pardew conceded that the player had left to join Chelsea “with our blessing” following complicated negotiations over his financial package.

Benitez refused to discuss Ba specifically but said: “The club is working and hopefully we will get someone else. If we can do the business then hopefully he’ll be available for the weekend.”

The club hope that Ba will be available to play against Southampton in their FA Cup third round tie on Saturday. In order to do so he will have to be registered by Friday lunchtime. He did not train yesterday once Chelsea had met his buy-out clause of £7m, which was confirmed by Newcastle.

Benitez defended his decision to rest Juan Mata, Ashley Cole, Ramires and Eden Hazard , after Shaun Wright-Phillips’ goal for QPR left Chelsea 14 points behind leaders Manchester United who have played one game more.

Benitez said that to be credible challengers for the title his team would have to be “almost perfect now”. He added: “It’s more difficult now, but I can’t be thinking about how many points we need. I have to think about the next game. It’s difficult for us now as we’re playing so many games with a small group of players. You could say that [tonight] they couldn’t get to the right level.”

Chelsea hope to add to make more than just the Ba signing this window with Brazilian midfielder Taison, at Metalist Kharkiv, on their radar. There were even suggestions last night that they could move for the Manchester City defender Micah Richards, currently injured, although Benitez dismissed that prospect.

Ba failed a medical at Stoke City in January 2011 and the club passed him over that month when he subsequently signed for West Ham who did not subject Ba to a medical. In spite of those problems he never missed a training session through injury at Newcastle and has played 54 Premier League games for the club since he joined them in the summer of last year, scoring 29 goals.

The entire deal for Ba could potentially cost Chelsea more than £20m with around £15m in wages, at £80,000-a-week over four years, a further £7m to meet the buy-out clause, £2.5m which is being divided between Ba and his representatives. The deal has been squabbled over by different parties claiming to represent the player who has negotiated through his friend Alex Gontran.

The sale of Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool went through today, bringing in £12m for Chelsea. Although it is a good financial return, it leaves them short in attack with their big signing, the Colombian striker Radamel Falcao expected to happen in the summer. The club have never ruled out a move for Falcao from Atletico Madrid this month, if it could be done but there has been a general acceptance that it will be easier to do in the summer.

Officially presented as a Liverpool player today, Sturridge said that he had joined a “humungous” club. The 23-year-old said: “I am humbled and happy to be here. Brendan Rodgers said he sees me here for a long time - and I also see myself here for a long time. I've not signed here to play for a couple of years and then move on.”

Benitez said that Petr Cech was still “two to three weeks” away from playing. John Terry is still yet to train with the first team and no date has been set for his return. He has bruising to the bone in his knee.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice