Ba happy at Newcastle as he hits back at transfer rumours


DEMBA Ba has reiterated his committment to Newcastle United after a summer of speculation over his future.

Ba came off the bench in last night’s 1-0 friendly defeat to German club Chemnitzer.

The striker has a well-publicised £7m buy-out clause in his contract.

And the 26-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Galatasaray last month, while other clubs have been mentioned with him.

However, Ba moved to end talk of a move away from St James’s Park after the game, decided by a first-half goal from Anton Fink.

“The fans see me on the pitch – that’s my message to them,” Ba told the Gazette.

“In the papers there’s been a lot of rubbish!

“Like I said I said on Twitter, it’s just rumours. People talk, but what I can say is that none of the teams that have been talked about have approached me.

“I’m still a Newcastle player, and I enjoy putting on a black and white shirt.”

Ba emerged from the tunnel last night with a broad grin on his face, and he has also told his team-mates he is happy at the club.

“Life is brilliant – I always have a smile on my face,” Ba went on.

“That’s how I am. Football is my job, but it’s also a lot of fun for me. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it.”

Ba netted 16 goals last season, his first at Newcastle after his move from West Ham United a year ago.

The bulk of them came in the first half of the campaign before his Senegalese countryman Papiss Demba Cisse’s arrival on Tyneside.

Ba moved to the left side of United’s attack after Cisse joined the club, and the goals subsequently dried up.

However, the Senegal international – who is looking forward to representing the club in Europe – is confident he can better last season’s goal tally, and help Newcastle again challenge for a top-four place in the Premier League.

“I don’t set targets, I just always try to do better than the season before,” he added.

“For the collective, it would be good if we could achieve something great. The most important thing is being in the Europa League, and doing something great in that competition.

“If we add a couple of players to the squad, then I think we’ll be OK. This season, if we can be around the places we were last season, it will be great.”

Meanwhile, Cisse was not involved having only met up with his team-mates on Thursday.

The striker watched the game from the stand along with colleagues Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux and Cheik Tiote.

Pardew’s side are back in action on Monday night when they face Monaco in Landsberg.

n Newcastle United v AS Monaco on July 16 is to be shown at 6pm exclusively live on ESPN.

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Twitter: @milesstarforth

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