Newcastle United have announced that Chelsea have made an official offer for Demba Ba, which has met the striker’s release clause. The Senegal international is now discussing personal terms with the Champions League winners and has been excluded from Newcastle’s squad to face Everton on Wednesday.

“Newcastle United can confirm that Chelsea Football Club has made an official offer for Demba Ba which has triggered the release clause in the player's contract,” a statement read on Newcastle’s website. “The Club has given the player permission to speak to Chelsea FC and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight's game against Everton.”

Ba’s future has been the subject of much speculation for several months, ever since a release clause, believed to be £7 million, was revealed to be in his contract. The 27-year-old arrived at St James’ Park on a free transfer in the summer of 2011 following West Ham’s relegation from the Premier League.

While Ba would now appear to be close to a move to Stamford Bridge, there may yet be serious obstacles to the being finalized.

There has been much talk that any club wishing to buy Ba will have to pay up to £2 million in agents’ fees, while his wage demands are also thought to be high.

But the biggest concern could be a serious knee condition that once saw BA fail a medical at Stoke. Ba has not missed any playing time since moving to Newcastle because of his knee, but, with Chelsea paying significant money for the former Hoffenheim man, they are unlikely to be prepared to take any chances. Getting insurance for Ba may also be an issue.