London: Newcastle United have given European champions Chelsea permission to hold transfer talks with 27-year-old Senegal striker Demba Ba.
“Chelsea have made an official offer for Demba Ba, which has triggered the release clause in the player’s contract,” Newcastle said on their website (www.nufc.co.uk) on Wednesday.
“The club have given the player permission to speak to Chelsea and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight’s [Wednesday] game against Everton.”
Newcastle, who are sixth from bottom in the table, did not give details of Ba’s release clause but media reports suggest it is around £7m (Dh41.9m).
Chelsea have also seen their own striker Daniel Sturridge complete the Premier League’s first major transfer of the January window, as his move to Liverpool has gone through as expected.
No details of the deal were released but the 23-year-old England forward said he was looking forward to playing for “one of the biggest clubs in the world”.
“I am humbled and happy to be here,” Sturridge told Liverpool’s website. “Brendan Rodgers [the manager] said he sees me here for a long time — and I also see myself here for a long time. I’ve not signed here to play for a couple of years and then move on. I’ve signed to be here for as long as possible.
“It’s a humongous club — for me, one of the biggest in the world — and to have the fans and world-class players we have here is amazing.”