The Senegalese striker has struggled to establish himself under Mourinho, and has scored just three goals for the Blues in all competitions this season. His woes at Stamford Bridge have resulted in much speculation over his future, with Roma, Valencia and West Ham all showing an interest in taking him away from West London.
Yet his future was almost decided, as Turkish side Trabzonspor – who currently have ex-Chelsea stars Florent Malouda and Jose Bosingwa in their squad – were on the verge of completing the signing of 28-year-old Ba, but Mourinho cancelled the deal following the news that striker Fernando Torres could miss up to six weeks of action.
As a result, Mourinho wants to keep Ba as cover for Samuel Eto'o, though the Turkish club remain interested in signing former Newcastle United hitman Ba.
“We had agreed terms with Demba Ba,” said Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu. “However, following Fernando Torres’ injury, Mourinho made it clear that they didn’t want to let go of Ba just yet. Despite this we are still interested in Ba.”
Having signed Ba for £7m from Newcastle a year ago, Chelsea were seemingly willing to let him go for the same amount, but it now appears that Ba will have to wait until the summer to leave Stamford Bridge – unless Mourinho chooses to use the £37m he will receive for Juan Mata on another striker, though £11m of that has already gone to Basel for Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah.
The news of Ba staying at the club won't enthral Chelsea fans, with most hoping he would leave having scored just nine goals since his move last January, and the revelation that he will be counted upon more heavily in the squad in light of Torres' injury will do little to reassure fans that they will see a prolific striker donning the blue of Chelsea once more.
Additionally, with Ba almost certainly set to return to being third-choice upon Torres' return, his value may diminish over the coming months, costing the club millions of pounds – although, when you're bankrolled by Roman Abramovich, that's nothing more than loose change.
For the sake of Ba's career though, he needs to leave the club in order to return to the form he showed for Newcastle and West Ham United, and his failed move to Trabzonspor may be a missed opportunity for the striker, who now has to face up to the reality of staying in West London for a few more months yet.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald