Sport : Football

DEMBA BA IGNORES CHELSEA 'RUMOURS'

22nd March 2012, 05:10pm

Demba Ba: Linked with Chelsea switch

Demba Ba: Linked with Chelsea switch

Demba Ba has played down reports linking him with Chelsea and insists he is happy at Newcastle.

The Senegal international's 16 Premier League goals this season have seen him mentioned as a possible replacement for Didier Drogba, who will be out of contract in the summer.

Chelsea are expected to overhaul their squad at the end of the season, when a new manager is likely to be appointed, and Frank Lampard and Michael Essien could also be leaving, while Fernando Torres has failed to justify his £50million price-tag.

Ba, 26, is a possible recruit and, with what is understood to be a £7m release clause in his contract, would prove excellent value for money to succeed 33-year-old Ivory Coast star Drogba.

But he has no plans to quit St James' Park, where he still has more than two years remaining on a contract, and he is building a partnership with compatriot Papiss Cisse.

Ba told Sky Sports when asked about a possible move to Chelsea: "It is rumours like you get in football.

"I am happy with Newcastle and I enjoy being here and playing for the Toon Army. I enjoy being in this team.

"We have a good team spirit and I love the North East, where I have my country-mate, Papiss Cisse."

Ba joined Newcastle last summer after becoming a free agent due to a clause in his contract following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League.

Drogba is reportedly set to join mega-rich Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, where he would be reunited with former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka.

There has also been speculation that Cheick Tiote has already agreed to move to Stamford Bridge next season as a replacement for Essien.

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