Pardew hopeful of retaining Ba in January but signals action on contract opt-out clause in summer
Alan Pardew remains optimistic that Demba Ba will still be a Newcastle United player when the January transfer window closes but accepts the Senegal striker’s future is out of his control.
“I think Demba will find it difficult to find a better home,” said Newcastle’s manager, who is hopeful that a combination of the chronic knee condition which means Ba will not pass a standard medical and his €100,000-a-week wage demands will deter clubs from activating the €8.5 million release clause in his contract.
“I think there’s a good chance he could stay but the clause puts it out of my control. If he goes this window, it will cause us a problem.”
Pardew is determined that, should Ba complete this season at Newcastle, his future will be resolved in the summer when the 27-year-old, contracted until June 2014, will sign a new deal on Tyneside, minus an escape clause, or be sold.
“I won’t let his current contract run on in the summer,” he said. “I’ll do something about it. We’ll either move Demba on or secure him. I think we’ll have to make a decision because of his age and his situation. If he isn’t going to renew with us, we can’t have this hanging over us.”
Pardew’s nightmare scenario would involve Ba departing in January while Shola Ameobi, another key striker, was playing for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Newcastle’s manager is not overjoyed by Ameobi’s enthusiasm for representing the country of his birth or Nigeria’s sudden interest in selecting him and is attempting to negotiate a deal whereby the 31-year-old is not included in the Super Eagles squad.
One piece of good news for Newcastle is that the ankle injury Vurnon Anita, sustained during the 4-3 St Stephen’s Day defeat at Old Trafford, is merely heavy bruising which should sideline the midfielder only for tomorrow’s trip to Arsenal.