Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

No regrets over Ba - Coates

Demba Ba

Stoke chairman Peter Coates has no regrets about their decision not to sign Demba Ba in the January transfer window.

Instead the Senegal striker will be lining up for opponents West Ham on Saturday and looking to improve on his tally of three goals in five games. Stoke had agreed a £7.1million fee with Hoffenheim only for the move to break down over concerns about Ba's previous knee injury.

Coates told the Sentinel: "There are no qualms about the decision we made. We would have taken the player had he passed the medical."

He added: "But we were strongly advised by our medical team that it was a risk we could not take.

"You cannot spend large sums of money on a high-risk basis. We were disappointed, though, because we wanted to sign the player and the eventual decision was nothing to do with is ability."

Ba has revealed he opted for a move to West Ham ahead of a more lucrative offer from Russian side Rubin Kazan.

The Senegal striker's relationship with Hoffenheim broke down completely in January and he refused to travel with the Bundesliga club to their winter training camp in Spain when interest from West Ham emerged.

Ba was unhappy at his portrayal as a mercenary and accused Hoffenheim general manager Ernst Tanner of damaging his reputation.

"Mr Tanner has ruined my image in the Bundesliga," Ba said in an interview with Sport Bild magazine. I only heard these words: 'Demba is only after money'. The truth is that I could have earned much more money elsewhere.

"I was presented with an offer from Rubin Kazan. They wanted to pay a 15million euro fee. I could have earned much more there than in West Ham. It's not all about money for me."

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