Chelsea and Tottenham have until the 31st July to sign Newcastle striker Demba Ba for a bargain £7m, according to a report by the Daily Mirror.
Ba hit 16 goals during a very impressive first season for Newcastle United, as the Geordies narrowly missed out on an unlikely top four finish.
It is common knowledge that the Senegal international has a £7m release clause in his contract but the Mirror claim that clause came in to effect today and will expire in two months time on the 31st July.
The report suggests that both Chelsea and Tottenham are keen on the 27-year-old but the London rivals will have to move quickly or risk having to pay his full market value after the deadline passes.
Alan Pardew is desperate to hang on to the striker and had hoped to renegotiate the clause out of Ba’s contract. However, the Mirror believe the players representatives were unwilling to alter his contract as there is another caveat in his deal that would see their man pick up £2.5m of any future transfer fee.
There have been concerns over whether Ba would pass a medical due to past problems with his knees, but the fact remains that he played 32 league games last season and has showed no signs of the knee issues that have haunted him in the past.
Chelsea are in need of a replacement for Didier Drogba while Tottenham are looking for alternatives to Emmanuel Adebayor, with the club struggling to strike a deal with Man City to make his loan move permanent.
We predict that it won’t be just Chelsea and Tottenham who will be in for Ba this summer. There aren’t many players of his quality available for just £7m, so we should expect something of a transfer scramble over his signature.
The 31st July ‘deadline’ is interesting as it means clubs will have to move quickly, and with the player not at the Euro’s this summer and free to conduct transfer business, Alan Pardew might be in for a few sleepless nights. We think Ba will move on this summer, but at this stage it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll end up.
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