Pardew: Ba is heading to Chelsea
Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew is confident he can cope with the departure of Demba Ba after confirming he expects the striker to sign for Chelsea.
Ba, 27, is in talks with the Blues about a move to Stamford Bridge after they triggered the £7 million release clause in his contract with a bid on Wednesday.
The fee is widely agreed to represent the sort of excellent value that Newcastle benefitted themselves when picking up the Senegal frontman on a free transfer following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League in 2011.
And Pardew has conceded defeat in his attempts to hold on to Ba, who was omitted from the Newcastle squad for the 2-1 defeat at home to Everton on Wednesday night.
"I don't think he will be coming back; I think the deal will get done," Pardew told BBC Sport after the loss at St James' Park.
"We can move on - we're a massive club here. This club is bigger than any player, for sure."
Before the match against Everton, Pardew told Sky Sports: "We prepared on Tuesday with Demba in the side. I was in the dark as I have been on most of this particular deal because obviously the ball was in Demba's court.
"It's done. He will go to Chelsea with our blessing. He has done fantastically for us. It's a big club - good luck to him.
"For us, it's not a bad thing because of all the uncertainty of whether he was going to stay is now done."Ba has netted 29 goals in 54 top-flight games for the Magpies in a hugely successful 18-month spell on Tyneside.