Newcastle hope to keep striker Demba Ba

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says he is still hoping striker Demba Ba will remain at the club after January. The Senegal striker's representatives held talks with Chelsea on Sunday, but the meeting was later described as unproductive. Ba has a £7m-release clause in his contract with Newcastle and that clause is due to become active again on 1 January.

"I still think it's even whether he will stay or go. I'd like to think he will stay in this window. That will be his decision," Pardew said. Newcastle have tried to negotiate a new contract with Ba in recent months, a new deal without that clause, but the striker was reluctant to accept it.

"The situation with that is that it's getting close to the point where we say 'no more', but the offer is still there. The contract is what it is, we are all aware of that, and for me as the manager I need it resolved as quickly as possible. That's the best situation for our fans and for the club," Alan Pardew stated.

Pardew has also hit out at the network of people representing Ba, who has 13 goals in 21 appearances this season. "In some respects I feel a little bit sorry for Demba. There are people out there fuelling this who are not actually involved or want to be involved and that's the sort of world that we are in."

Demba Ba has an adventurous transfer history. He was also involved in a dispute with German side Hoffenheim as he looked to secure a move to the Premier League during the 2011 January transfer window. The German club eventually agreed to let their striker move to Stoke in a reported £6m deal, but Ba failed a medical and eventually secured a move to West Ham. The forward then invoked a release clause in his contract after the Hammers were relegated. Newcastle signed Ba on a three-year deal in June 2011 and the Senagalese player scored 16 goals during his first full season as Newcastle finished fifth and qualified for the Europa League.

He is the club's top scorer this season and his departure would leave just Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi, who scored 8 goals between them this season, as the only senior strikers at the club.

Newcastle meet Everton on Wednesday in the Premier League, here are the odds for the match from Bet365:

Newcastle win - 11/5
Draw - 12/5
Everton win - 5/4

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