Spurs consider £7 million bid for Newcastle United's striker Demba Ba
TOTTENHAM Hotspur are considering a £7 million bid for Newcastle United striker Demba Ba which would activate the release clause in his contract.
The Senegal striker arrived at Newcastle only last summer on a free transfer from West Ham United and has proved a huge success. However, there was a release clause inserted as part of the negotiations for that deal when Newcastle United beat off competition from Everton.
There was some dispute as to whether the clause existed and how much it was for, and whether Ba could leave in the January window, when Spurs were among a number of clubs to express interest in the 26 year-old.
Harry Redknapp is an admirer of Ba and spoke highly of him in January. Tottenham Hotspur are planning a new-look strike-force with Louis Saha being released and a deal yet to be struck with Emmanuel Adebayor, who spent last season on loan from Manchester City.
England striker Jermain Defoe has already expressed his frustration and suggested that he may have to seek a transfer this summer to play more first-team football while earlier this month Redknapp had a meeting in Paris with the Marseille forward Loic Remy, who was another January target.
Spurs are pushing ahead with ambitious transfer plans despite missing out on next season’s Champions League and Redknapp, whose own future remains in some doubt, with one year left on his contract, will be encouraged that chairman Daniel Levy appears to want to conduct his buying and selling early.
Spurs are also still negotiating to sign the Ajax central defender Jan Vertonghen, but are facing strong competition from Arsenal among others, but Newcastle would appear to be powerless from preventing Ba from leaving should his release clause be met.
Ba scored 16 goals for Newcastle last season, helping propel the club to a remarkable fifth-place finish in the Premier League although, curiously, he failed to score once fellow Senegal striker Papiss Cisse arrived from Freiburg in the January window to make such an astonishing impact.
It had been thought that Newcastle might attempt to renegotiate the release clause in Ba’s contract but it is understood the club have decided against this, while privately acknowledging it is far from certain that he will stay. Spurs would not be the only bidders but are believed to be favourites to sign Ba, if he decides to leave, once the transfer window opens.
One major concern for Spurs, however, is whether Ba would be able to pass a medical given his history of serious knee problems which led to Stoke City deciding not to sign him in January 2011 when he was leaving German club Hoffenheim.
Newcastle could add to their burgeoning French contingent by signing four-times-capped France international right-back Mathieu Debuchy. The 26-year-old has spent his entire career at Lille, where he became best friends with Yohan Cabaye, who is now at St James’ park along with French compatriots Hatem ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan and Romain Amaltifano, while Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are from French-speaking Senegal.
Debuchy is a forward-running, crossing full-back and has scored 18 times in 289 appearances, with five of those goals coming this season alone. He scored again in France’s rickety 3-2 win over Iceland on Sunday night and was the source of several fine centres.