Liverpool are considering a move for Newcastle United forward Demba Ba, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 27 year old, who scored 16 league goals for the Magpies last season, is believed to have a clause in his contract that makes him available for around £7mn till July 31. After that date, potential suitors will have to pay the Tyneside club the Senegal international's full market value. The Reds' boss, Brendan Rodgers, is understood to be an admirer of Ba and is likely to table an offer for the striker this month. Tottenham Hotspur were also linked with a move for the former West Ham star.
Newcastle Debate Papiss Cisse's Senegal Call-Up
Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has revealed that the club may have to allow Ba's compatriot Papiss Cisse to join his country's Olympic squad. The striker scored 13 goals in 14 games after joining the Toon from Bundesliga side Freiburg in January but he could miss their entire pre-season if Senegal makes it to the final of the tournament.
"We have to give our permission and we are sort of discussing it. It's awkward because we want to prepare for a difficult season ahead of Europa League and Premier League games," Sky Sports quoted Pardew as saying.
However, the Telegraph reports that Newcastle are unhappy with Senegal's decision to call on their striker and believe the African country cannot force them to release him as he is one of their over-aged players.
We're Looking to Buy, Not Sell
Pardew also stated that the club was looking to improve his squad rather than sell players ahead of the new season. Newcastle finished fifth last term and a host of key players, including Ba, Cisse, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and captain Fabio Coloccini, have been attracting interest from several big European clubs. But the manager insists he is only looking to bolster his ranks and has the full support of owner Mike Ashley.
"We haven't lost anybody yet, despite all of the speculation. We're working to bring a couple of people to improve the squad. Mike [Ashley] has made it clear he is committed to the club and we are working through the process of bringing players in. Myself and [chief scout] Graham Carr are keeping an eye on the players we have been tracking during Euro 2012 and seeing how they have perform," Goal.com quoted Pardew as saying.
Best Swaps Newcastle for Blackburn
Finally, Blackburn Rovers have confirmed the signing of Newcastle's striker Leon Best.
The Lancashire club, which was relegated from the Premier League last season, have agreed a fee of more than £3mn for the 25 year old, who has now signed a four-year contract at Ewood Park. Best spent two seasons at St James' Park, after joining from Coventry City in 2010.