Given Demba Ba’s form for Newcastle United this season, it is inevitable that the Senegalese striker will be the subject of much interest from other Premier League clubs. Ba’s 15 league goals put him only behind Arsenal’s Robin van Persie in Premier League top goal scorers’ chart and his finish against Manchester United in the week was sublime. However, Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in Demba Ba has gone one step too far.
With December Premier League Player of the Month Demba Ba going off the play for Senegal in the African Cup of Nations this week, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has revealed his interest in the lover of strawberry syrup, but there was also a much bigger revelation. From a press conference with Redknapp, it was revealed that Demba Ba has a release clause in his contract with Newcastle, which will be something of a concern for Magpies fans.
This is what Harry Redknapp said in the press conference yesterday when he was asked about a possible release clause for Demba Ba. Harry said “They say there’s a release clause in his contract – that’s what we all hear.” So if it wasn’t already, Ba’s release clause is now common knowledge and the rumours doing the rounds today in the Daily Mail are that the fee is as little as £10 million. That’s peanuts for a striker in the form Demba Ba’s in, so it looks like Alan Pardew might have a fight on his hands to keep Ba at St James’ Park this month.
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In an ideal world Newcastle manager Alan Pardew would tell his fellow Premier League managers where to go, but it isn’t as simple as that when big money’s involved as was shown by Liverpool’s purchase of Andy Carroll this time last year. However, there are a couple of things in Newcastle’s favour, with the main one being Demba Ba himself. Ba seems to be a really down to earth guy and with him doing so well at Newcastle, he might be reluctant to move on again so soon and although it’s a rarity these days, a footballer might actually show some loyalty.
Also, Ba is of course on his way to Africa, so it might be slightly more difficult for clubs to negotiate a deal for Demba. He won’t return until February, so the deadline day madness might not come about. Then there’s the issue with his knee. Ba might have proved his fitness this season, but in the back of any manager’s mind must be a few nagging doubts. Surgeons hammered a 25cm nail into Ba’s right leg, so the fact that he’s been injury-free of late is something of a minor miracle.
Finally, would astute businessman Mike Ashley be so naïve as to put such a low release clause on Demba Ba? If he did, then I’d have thought the Newcastle hierarchy would have been desperately trying to tie Ba down to a new deal and put them in a position of power when clubs did come knocking. If Ba did leave for around £10 million it would be a travesty, so let’s just hope Ashley and Pardew can tell Tottenham and the rest where to go…