Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal will not sign Newcastle United striker Demba Ba during the January transfer window.
The Senegal international has scored 11 goals from 19 Premier League matches so far this season and has attracted interest from a host of clubs, including the Gunners. And the 27 year old, who has a £7.5m release clause in his contract with the Magpies, was quoted as saying Arsenal "make you dream", fuelling speculation the north London outfit would trigger the clause when the transfer window opens. Ba is to face Arsenal at the Emirates this weekend.
"It is not right to speak about him because he plays against us tomorrow. If you ask 'do we sign him?' I say no," the 63 year old told Goal.com, adding, "Any interest we have in any player has to be kept secret so I cannot come out with any names."
The Gunners have also been linked with Barcelona striker David Villa and a second consecutive loan approach for former captain Thierry Henry, with Goal.com quoting Wenger as refusing to rule out the latter option.
Pardew Still Keen on Ba
Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew remains hopeful Ba will be at St James' Park even after January. The 51 year old admitted the talismanic forward's departure would be a problem to his side and vowed to sort out the release clause issue by next summer, one way or the other.
"Really and truly this window is the key, I think, because if Demba goes in this window, it will cause us a problem," Pardew told ESPN.
"I think he will stay, but there's a possibility he could go because of the clause that's still in force. I won't let it run until the summer. I'll do something about it. We will either move Demba on or we will secure him in the summer," the manager stressed.
With Arsenal ruling out a move for Ba, Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain (PSG) are now understood to be the leading contenders to secure his signature. The player recently claimed he was a big supporter of the French outfit and would like to play for them in the near future.