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Ba plays down rumours

Demba Ba has played down speculation linking him with a move away from Newcastle United this summer.

Ba, 27, enjoyed an outstanding debut season at Newcastle after signing from West Ham on a free transfer, scoring 16 goals in 34 Premier League appearances.

The Senegal international's form has seen him linked with a switch to a so-called bigger side, with Galatasaray the latest club to be mooted as suitors.

However, Ba, who is said to have a £7 million release clause in his contract, wrote on his Twitter account: "So much stuff about me lately. Rumours are rumours! Just forget about it."

Meanwhile, it is reported that Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is closing in on another summer target after agreeing a fee for teenage midfielder Gael Bigirimana.

The Magpies are said to have reached an agreement with Coventry over the 18-year-old Burundi-born player, who moved to this country as a refugee in 2004, and that discussions are at an advanced stage.

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