Arsenal and Liverpool are ‘on alert’ over the potential availability of striker Demba Ba in the New Year, according to The Daily Mirror.
The Senegalese striker is yet to agree terms on a new contract at Newcastle United, leaving the 27-year-old open to a £7 million bid in the January transfer window – a figure which would meet the minimum fee release clause currently in his contract.
Ba has already turned down a £70,000-a-week contract offer at St. James’ Park, according to the report, with the player’s advisers looking to negotiate a wage closer to £80,000.
And, with Magpies owner Mike Ashley unwilling to offer such a figure, the transfer door appears open for interested parties to try and striker a deal.
Arsenal, who have also been linked with a move for Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, are one of the teams being mooted as a potential future destination for the former West Ham United hitman.
The Gunners are short of options up-front, with Olivier Giroud and Marouane Chamakh the only senior players in the position currently at manager Arsene Wenger’s disposal.
Ba would add some much-needed depth to the Arsenal attacking-line, but would have to be made one of the top earners at the Emirates Stadium, given his high wage demands.
Liverpool are another side short of options in attack, with Luis Suarez carrying the goalscoring burden on his shoulders in the absence of Fabio Borini (injury) and Andy Carroll (loan).
Daniel Sturridge has also been heavily-linked with a move to Anfield, and Ba is now another striker speculatively placed on the radar of manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Reds have also been willing to pay big wages to players in the past, a factor which could prove to be crucial if Liverpool wish to pursue the player in the opening month of 2013.