• Premier League

Ba's Chelsea move falters after 'unproductive' talks

ESPN staff
December 31, 2012

Chelsea have suffered an early blow in their hopes of signing Newcastle United striker Demba Ba in January after unproductive discussions over his future.

Ba, 27, has a £7.5 million clause in the deal he signed when he moved to the north east from West Ham in 2011 which means he could be sold in January if a club meets the fee. And, according to the Daily Mail, the Blues were ready to offer a £2 million loyalty payment in order to seal his move to Stamford Bridge.

However, it is now understood that club officials met Ba's representatives on Sunday night but that the personal terms on the table did not come close to what he expects to earn for leaving St James's Park.

The Senegal international's brace in the 7-3 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday took his goal total for the season up to 13, more than the rest of the Newcastle squad put together and one behind the Premier League's leading marksman Robin van Persie.

As a result of that form, a host of clubs including Arsenal, Chelsea and PSG have been linked with moves for him.

Roman Abramovich is thought to have made Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao his No. 1 target but, with the Colombia international insisting he will see out the season at the Vicente Calderon, the Chelsea owner has been forced to look elsewhere.

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez, however, refused to be drawn on questions over reports he was set to sign Ba this weekend.

"We don't talk about our business in public," he said after his side beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park. "My job is to prepare the games. This is a player that is playing for another team so I don't want to talk about him."

Meanwhile, Newcastle are poised to complete a deal to sign France right-back Mathieu Debuchy from Lille for just under £5.5m and have turned their attentions to Marseille striker Loic Remy to fill any void left by Ba.

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