Demba Ba linked with surprise return to Newcastle

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Demba Ba could return to one of his former clubs this summer, with reports suggesting that Newcastle are pondering a bid to bring the Chelsea striker back to the North East.

This is according to The Daily Star, who claim that long-serving Toon manager Alan Pardew has added Ba to his list of summer transfer targets having been frustrated in his pursuit of other striking options.

Newcastle's need to significantly strengthen their forward unit is certainly not in question, with Shola Ameobi's departure following the expiration of his contract earlier this summer having effectively left the injured Papiss Cisse as the club's only recognised senior striker.

Pardew, to his credit, has sought to remedy this problem during the first few weeks of the market, with versatile Dutch forward Siem de Jong having arrived from Eredivisie champions Ajax last month.

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Ba bid on the horizon?

While De Jong is capable of being deployed as a striker, he is more comfortable in an attacking midfield role and Newcastle are still notably short of extensive options in the final third. A move for Ba, therefore, could certainly make a lot of sense.

Having moved to the Premier League from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim back in 2011, the Senegalese international frontman impressed during a short stint in East London with West Ham.

The Hammers' relegation from the top-flight led to a premature exit from Upton Park, which allowed Newcastle to sign him to a three-year contract.

Although many had previously harboured lingering doubts over Ba due to his questionable injury record, the 29-year-old proved a huge hit on Tyneside, scoring almost 30 league goals before being sold to Chelsea last January.

Watch: The latest Chelsea transfer news

Chelsea failure

It would be perhaps slightly harsh to categorise Ba's year-and-a-half spell at Stamford Bridge as a total failure, although he has unquestionably struggled to make the sort of impact initially expected of him. 

Having been brought to Chelsea by the unpopular figure of former interim boss Rafael Benitez, Ba slid down the pecking order following Jose Mourinho's return to the dugout and it seems increasingly doubtful that he will have the opportunity to make regular starts next season following the expensive arrival of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid.

Everton competition

Newcastle are not the only Premier League club interested in signing Ba, however, with Everton - who had teammate Romelu Lukaku at Goodison Park during the 2013/14 campaign - also having been linked with a move for his services as they seek to fill the gaping void left by the powerful Belgian starlet.

The Toffees are only believed to be interested in a loan deal, however, and Newcastle could hold the edge financially with Everton supposedly not able to match Ba's current £80,000-per-week wages.

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Newcastle United
Demba Ba
Premier League

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