Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has revealed the club are attempting to negotiate their way out of the striker's buyout clause.
Ba scored a brace in Newcastle’s 3-0 home victory over Wigan on Monday evening, taking his season’s tally to 10 in all competitions.
The 27-year-old Senegal international has taken the plaudits ever since his switch to the North East in 2011 from West Ham United. However, Pardew admits he is concerned about the striker’s future as the winter window looms and transfer talk escalates.
“Demba's been outstanding for us. But this city is one where information gets out,” the manager explained.
“We've had to board our training ground up because our team’s been leaked, and details of Demba's contract have been leaked and that's not acceptable. He's still got a clause in his contract. We've tried to negotiate it away but haven't managed to yet.”
Ba has a £7.5 million release clause build in to his contract with Newcastle, something the club were understandably keen to keep quiet – the sum is considerably lower than his market valuation and could very easily be triggered by an onslaught of rivals clubs vying for his signature in January.
But the manager insisted the player is happy at the club. Whatever the future holds for the striker, he will likely remain a Toon legend for many years to come.
“But he's never done anything other than look me in the eye and show me he wants to stay. He loves it here and understands it's a football city.”
The manager may have to submit to losing one of his best players next year but, for the time being, the club are desperately trying to re-negotiate the terms of his contract in the hope he won’t leave as a bargain buy for another Premier League club – Liverpool are currently the front-runners in the chase to sign the goal-machine.
“We're trying to do a deal to take the clause out because it makes it difficult for me, for Demba and the club.”
Whilst Pardew may hope for the best – a contract resolution that sees the club paid what the striker is actually worth – these statements strike me as closing the barn door after the horse is bolted. And, although he claims the contract amendment is the best thing for all parties, Ba’s agent may have a thing or two to say to his client about that.
Should Ba leave on the cheap, he’ll likely be the one to reap the benefits in his wages. If he leaves for under £10 million as looks increasingly likely, he could earn almost double his current £50,000 in wages elsewhere.