Newcastle United are contemplating a fine on Senegalese striker Demba Ba, following comments about joining Arsenal. The 27 year old African was quoted as saying: "Arsenal are one of those teams who makes you dream". The Telegraph believes a fine in the region of £90,000 (two weeks' wages) will be imposed.
It probably did not help the Magpies that the Gunners are reportedly looking for a striker in the January transfer window; the likes of Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez and Schalke 04's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar have been discussed. Ba has had a stand-out season with the St James' Park side so far, scoring 11 goals in 16 appearances. And Alan Pardew, predictably, is not happy with his player's comments.
Ba's present contract expires in 2014 but it is the bargain release clause in his agreement that has St James' Park worried. A new deal has been offered but an agreement has yet to be reached.
"We've tried to do a deal with him and take the clause out and that's probably where the speculation is. The clause is always hanging over us and it makes it difficult for us, the club and him. We accept that and that's the way football is," Pardew was quoted by Sky Sports.
Meanwhile, France international Loic Remy could be the man to replace Ba at Newcastle, according to the Daily Mail. The report states £16m offer could be enough to persuade Ligue 1 club Olympique Marseille to part ways with their forward.
Remy had a good season with the club last year, scoring 12 times in 29 league appearances. This year, though, he has made only two league starts (and 12 appearances off the bench) for only one goal. And like Ba, the Frenchman has spoken of an interest in his prospective suitor.
"Newcastle are a very good team, they are a big club with good players, very good fans and a nice stadium that is always full. The window opens in January, and there will be speculation from now until the window closes - if I have to leave then all parties must be happy. I have a contract so let's wait and see what happens," Remy was quoted by the Mail.