- Premier League
Pardew: Ba leaves with our blessing
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says striker Demba Ba will go to Chelsea 'with our blessing', after revealing that the transfer was 'done'.
Ba, the Magpies' leading scoring this season with 13 Premier League goals, is widely expected to sign for the Blues over the next few days - after the west London club triggered the £7 million release clause in his contract.
And Pardew confirmed prior to the Wednesday evening match against Everton that the club were planning for life without the Senegalese forward, expecting the deal to be finalised shortly.
"It's done. He will go to Chelsea with our blessing," Pardew told Sky Sports. "He has done fantastic for us and it's not a bad thing, all the uncertainty is now done and we can move on.
Ba was withdrawn from the Newcastle squad to face the Toffees following Chelsea's bid, with the forward's hat-trick in the 7-3 away defeat to Arsenal seemingly his last contribution in black and white.
Pardew added: "The ball was always in Demba's court. But this club is bigger than any player for sure."
Newcastle are set to strengthen their squad immediately, with Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy at St James' Park to watch the side face Everton ahead of an expected £5m switch.