'I love being at Newcastle' says Demba Ba amid persistent transfer speculation
Friday 27 July 2012
Newcastle striker Demba Ba has issued his strongest statement yet on his desire to remain on Tyneside.
The 27-year-old Senegal international has spent the months since it emerged that there is a release-clause in his contract with the Magpies fending off speculation that he could leave this summer.
Despite repeated denials that he is looking for a way out of the club, he continues to be linked with a series of suitors, the latest rumour suggesting that he could be used to help broker a deal to bring Liverpool's Andy Carroll back to the north-east.
However, with just days to go until that particular clause expires on July 31, Ba has spoken out once again.
Speaking to the Journal from Newcastle's training base in Portugal, he said: "I don't care what is being said. I think it's part of the game.
"However, I have never said anything other than I love being at Newcastle.
"If they hear something from me about my future, that is the truth. Otherwise, everything that is said is not true.
"The newspapers and I are not very friendly at the moment. For months and months and months, people have been talking about me, but there is nothing happening.
"Of course, I am looking forward to next season with Newcastle. We just have to build on the progress we made last season. For me, I just can't wait to start the first game."
Ba arrived at St James' Park on a free transfer from West Ham last summer and proved an instant hit, scoring 15 goals before heading off on African Nations Cup duty at the turn of the year.
He added only one more on his return after being asked to assume a different role following the January capture of compatriot Papiss Cisse, who made an equally sensational contribution to the Magpies' surge into the top five with a 13-goal salvo.
Manager Alan Pardew has spent the summer attempting to add to his striking options after allowing Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands to leave the club, although FC Twente's Luuk de Jong proved to be beyond his means, as has - to date - Marseille's Loic Remy, who was the subject of a brief conversation.
But Carroll remains a target despite West Ham's blossoming interest, although whether or not the Magpies are prepared to meet both Liverpool's asking price or the players wages is debatable.
Pardew is keen to hang on to Ba and relaxed over the situation, although in that respect - if not on the subject of prospective signings - the end of the transfer window cannot come quickly enough for him.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Cristiano Ronaldo says he is playing Barca - not just Lionel Messi - in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Erik Lamela goal: Best tweets and reaction to Tottenham man's Rabona
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'