Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has again raised concerns about the future of Senegalese striker Demba Ba.
Ba, 27, moved to St James’ Park on a free transfer from West Ham United in 2011 and became an instant hit when he scored 16 Premier League goals in his first season. He has carried on his fine form this campaign, notching another 11 goals to lead the club’s goalscoring charts.
The subject of much speculation during the last transfer window after it emerged his contract held a release clause, Pardew says Ba’s future will be resolved in the next month.
"Really and truly this window is the key, I think, because if Demba goes in this window, it will cause us a problem,” he said, “I think he will stay, but there's a possibility he could go because of the clause that's still in force.
“In the summer, I won't let it run until the summer. I'll do something about it. We will either move Demba on or we will secure him in the summer."
The news follows yet more speculation that he will leave amid reported interest from Arsenal and Turkish giants Fenerbache. Speaking to Canal+, Ba remained non-committal over a potential departure, but has since admitted he would love the opportunity to play for boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, the Magpies have been eager to negotiate a contract extension with Ba that will also see the removal of his release clause which reactivates again in January.
Speaking earlier in December, Pardew said: “Demba’s contract have also been leaked since I’ve been here and that’s not acceptable. He still has a clause in his contract and it’s hanging over us.
“We’ve tried to negotiate it away but haven’t managed yet, but he’s never done anything other than look me in the eye and show me he wants to stay here. He loves it here, and he understands it’s a football city. We’re trying to do a deal to take the clause out because it makes it difficult for me, for Demba and the club.”
The Newcastle manager also confirmed that Dutch midfielder Vurnon Anita will miss Saturday’s trip to Arsenal with heavy bruising to the right ankle. The former Ajax man was stretchered off after a challenge by Antonio Valencia, with Pardew hopeful of his return in time for Everton on January 2.