Newcastle United have suffered a blow in their attempts to replace Demba Ba with Marseille coach Eli Baup claiming striker target Loic Remy could remain at the French club until the end of the season.

Senegal forward Ba joined Chelsea last week leaving Toon boss Alan Pardew short of attacking options for the remainder of the campaign.

Remy was understood to among those players being favoured to replace Ba at St James' Park, with sporting director Jose Anigo admitting the Ligue 1 co-leaders would be open to selling the 26 year old.

However, coach Baup says that Remy, who has previously been linked with moves to Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur, could stay beyond the January transfer window, potentially scuppering Newcastle's attempts to sign him.

Loic Remy
Remy has scored just one league goal this season.

"For a year, every transfer window, we have been talking about his departure," Baup told La Provence.

"But he is still there. Maybe he still will be in the summer. As this is the third transfer window where we are talking about his departure, he does not focus on it.

"He seeks primarily to regain his touch. The physical side, he has found. He must now partner that with the co-ordination of movements and feeling of the game."

Having missed the summer's European Championship with a hamstring injury, Remy has failed to break back into the Marseille first-team this season, having made just two league starts this season amid the form of Andre Ayew and Mathieu Valbuena.

Remy reportedly declined a move to QPR earlier in the transfer window while a switch to the Premier League in 2010 broke down after talks with Stoke. Tottenham have since been heavily linked with a move for the France international.

Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi and Nile Ranger, Newcastle's three remaining strikers, have contributed nine goals between them this season and Pardew has admitted the club must add to their attacking resources should they wish to recover from their plight in the Premier League, where they lie 15<sup>th after 21 games and deep in a relegation dogfight.

"Not once this season have I had my best side out. We're not too big to go down," the Newcastle manager said.

"I think it is important to spend. We lost Cheik and Demba, one to African Nations and one to a transfer.

"The most important thing for us is our Premier League status now because we've put ourselves at risk with all the injuries and the run we're on.

"We need to make sure we're a Premier League side next season. We're not hiding from that. We need our best players back."