Chelsea lead Arsenal in race for £7m striker target

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Football News

Chelsea have emerged as the favourites to sign Demba Ba for £7million once the January transfer window opens, ahead of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The 27-year-old Senegalese striker, who has netted an impressive 13 goals in the Premier League this season, still has a cut-price release clause written into his Newcastle United contract, which understandably continues to attract interest from a host of rival clubs.

Magpies boss Alan Pardew is still hoping that the club will renegotiate a new deal with Ba, but has finally admitted for the first time that if nothing can be struck, he will be sold in the New Year.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is believed to be monitoring the situation closely, as he weighs up an attempt to lure Ba to White Hart Lane, adding to his lack of options in attack, which currently consists only of Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, appeared to rule out a move for the African hit-man in January, but that public statement probably had much to do with the fact that Arsenal played Newcastle last night, with Ba scoring twice for the visitors in an enthralling 7-3 scoreline at the Emirates Stadium, which ended in the Gunners' favour.

Chelsea are determined to add to their strike-force in the mid-season window, though, and have been linked with a host of names to help ease the goalscoring burden on Fernando Torres. The most straightforward deal appears to be a £7million swoop for Ba, with £2.5million going to the player, plus around £2million in fees to his agent, and wages of £70,000-a-week.

His acquisition would not constitute a 'big-name' signing at Stamford Bridge either, and so wouldn't put too much pressure on the much-maligned Torres, with the modest fee already recouped from the impending £12million sale of Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool.

Ba's departure from St James' Park looks a near certainty, even if his next destination - to Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham - is still a little unclear. Newcastle are already making plans for a replacement, and have identified Marseille's Loic Remy, who could arrive in an £11.5million deal next month.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Newcastle United
Demba Ba

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