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Magpies hope to seal Ba deal


Demba Ba

Demba Ba

Demba Ba

Newcastle are hopeful of pushing through a move for Senegal striker Demba Ba.

It is understood the Magpies are close to finalising a deal for the frontman, who arrived on Tyneside on Thursday.

Ba scored seven goals in 13 appearances for West Ham last season after his proposed move from Hoffenheim to Stoke fell through when he failed a medical. However, the knee problem which so concerned Stoke did not appear to hamper him as he attempted to keep the Hammers in the Barclays Premier League.

Ba would be manager Alan Pardew's second summer signing after French midfielder Yohan Cabaye, and his arrival might go some of the way to easing the disappointment of skipper Kevin Nolan's move to Upton Park.

However, it will take further signings to placate fans disgruntled at the club's stance over the likes of Nolan and Joey Barton.

Newcastle are also closing in on Swansea full-back Neil Taylor and are actively pursuing a series of other targets with Tranquillo Barnetta, Mevlut Erding and Blaise Matuidi among the men in their sights.

But having already told Alan Smith and Nile Ranger that they can leave St James' Park, the Magpies are also ready to listen to offers for Republic of Ireland striker Leon Best.

The 24-year-old, a £1.2million signing from Coventry in February last year, scored a hat-trick in his first Premier League start for the club against West Ham on January 5, but injuries have not helped him establish himself as a genuine option.

Former Newcastle defender Sol Campbell has expressed his surprise at the club's decision to sell skipper Kevin Nolan. The 28-year-old midfielder joined West Ham on a five-year deal yesterday after rejecting the offer of a contract extension at St James' Park.

Asked for his reaction, Campbell told Sky Sports News: "Surprised? Yes, because Nobby is a very popular player up there and has done fantastically for the team, especially when they dropped down, coming up and then securing Premier League status the following year. He's the captain as well, so he is the figurehead at Newcastle, so it was a bit strange for him."