Newcastle could still lose star striker Demba Ba in the January transfer window for just £7million. Manager Alan Pardew revealed that the buy out clause in his contract will still be active come 1 January.
“There is a clause in his contract that makes us vulnerable to losing him and that situation is ongoing, but we cannot worry about that for now,” Pardew said.
The Senegalese international came off the bench to rescue the Toon at Everton on Monday night but Ba is reported to be unhappy at his role within the squad and rumours abound of a rift between the striker and manager.
Talks between Newcastle and Ba’s agent, Alex Gontran, over a new contract have stalled and speculation over his future has been rife since Gontran hinted that Ba would not remain at Newcastle if he is forced to play the understudy to the Magpie’s current leading man, Papiss Cisse.
Pardew admitted he had spoken to Ba about Gontran’s comments before departing for Portugal ahead of his side’s Europa League encounter with Maritimo tonight.
“I’ve told Demba I was disappointed with some of the comments around him, but I will not let the words of anyone affect what I consider to be my good relationship with the player. I just think the agent stuff was people saying things they shouldn’t say, really.”
Pardew is angered that the rumours have overshadowed preparations for Newcastle’s opening game of the campaign but he offered no guarantees to either Ba or Cisse about their place in team.
“The bottom line is that you have to get your players to play at their best, and sometimes there are different methods for doing that. If I’m honest, he gave me exactly what I wanted at Everton, but I knew there would be a response from him.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be honest, and I don’t think he’s played particularly well. The same can be said of Papiss Cisse at times this season, so he might have to deal with missing out next time,” he added.
Neither player, along with Yohann Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa, have travelled to Portugal. Pardew has prioritised the Premier League over their European adventure and left his star names to rest in Newcastle before Sunday’s clash with Norwich.