Chelsea are look in talks with Demba Ba’s representatives over a deal to take the Newcastle United striker to Stamford Bridge, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The 27-year-old has a much publicized £7 million release clause in his contract meaning that it is merely down to Ba agreeing personal terms, with Chelsea also believed to be willing to pay £2 million in agents’ fees. The Telegraph reports that Ba’s wage demands are currently providing a stumbling block with the Senegal international after a five-year contract worth £83,000 a week.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has claimed that some of the people acting as Ba’s representatives may not have his best interests at heart.
"I feel a little bit sorry for Demba as well because I think people who are representing him are not actually representing him," he said, according to Sky Sports.
"There are people out there who are fuelling this who are not actually involved, or want to be involved, and that's the world we live in.
"The contract is what it is. We are well aware of that and for me as the manager, I need it resolved as quickly as possible. That's the best situation for our fans and for the club."
Even If personal terms can be agreed, the deal still faces complications due to Ba’s long-standing knee condition. The problem once led to Stoke pulling out of a deal to sign the player and Chelsea are likely to be stringent with their medical even though the injury has not led to Ba missing playing time during his 18 months at Newcastle.
With Daniel Sturridge set to depart in a £12 million deal to Liverpool and doubts persisting about the club’s only other established striker, Fernando Torres, Chelsea are in need of a forward in next month’s transfer window.
Ba now looks to be the likeliest arrival, although the Daily Mirror is persisting with reports linking Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao with a big-money move to the Blues.
The story claims that Chelsea are set to meet Falcao’s £40 million buyout clause and offer him a contract worth £150,000 a week. Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, currently enjoying his second season on loan with Atleitco, could also reportedly be use as a makeweight in a deal.
Both Falcao and Atletico have repeatedly stated that there will be no movement in January, however, with a transfer more likely next summer.
Chelsea could also be made to wait for another leading attacking target, with Bayer Leverkusen set to resist renewed attempts to lure Andre Schurrle to Stamford Bridge next month, according to the Sunday People. The Germany international, who operates predominantly from the left but who has also played as a center forward, was reportedly the subject of a rejected bid from Chelsea in the summer.
As they challenge for Champions League qualification, Leverkusen are determined to hold onto the 22-year-old until at least the end of the season.
The Blues may have more luck in their attempts to sign Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha. The Guardian reports that Chelsea are among a group of four clubs—also including Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham—poised to make a move for the 20-year-old winger in January.
Palace are desperate to hold onto the England international until the end of the season, but Zaha has now admitted he would be tempted by a move.
"To be honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it's something I'd want," Zaha said, according to the Guardian. "I'm not a teenager any more. I've played more than 100 first-team games and this year is crucial to develop my football career. I want to establish myself in the Premier League and in international football."
A £10 million offer may be enough to secure Zaha’s services.