By Rob Stewart
The Magpies forward is thought to have grown disenchanted with life on Tyneside since the club signed goalscoring sensation Papiss Cisse, and it is expected that he will move on to pastures new during the transfer window.
The former West Ham United and Hoffenheim player is understood to have a £7 million get-out clause in his Newcastle contract and the club’s management team expect him to quit because he has become unhappy in the North East of England after a blistering start to the season.
Ba has been linked with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham in recent months but Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is unlikely to step up his interest in the player despite revealing the get-out clause in January.
Despite helping Newcastle to finish fifth in the Premier League, Ba has grown unhappy at having to adapt to a left-wing role following the arrival of fellow striker Cisse from German side Freiburg in a £10m deal this winter.The 26-year-old has 16 goals to his credit this season but has not scored in any of the 13 games that he has started alongside the new recruit - and that fall from grace has left a player who only arrived on Tyneside on a free transfer last summer feeling restless.
Although Ba's work-rate and creativity has impressed, he has lost his touch in and around the penalty box after setting the Sports Direct Arena alight earlier this term.
He spearheaded Newcastle’s upward mobility before the turn of the year, with a goal in the 3-0 demolition of Manchester United a personal highlight, but has not scored since the beginning of February when both he and substitute Cisse were on target in a 2-1 defeat of Aston Villa.
|125/1||Newcastle are 125/1 with William Hill to win the Premier League in 2012-13|
Ba signed a three-year deal with Newcastle last summer following West Ham’s relegation from the Premier League and was voted as the best signing of the season by top-flight managers in March.
It is understood that, under the terms of his contract, the Senegal international could collect half of the £7m transfer fee if a rival club decides to tempt him away from Newcastle and that is a cause of consternation at the Sports Direct Arena, where his future has been a sensitive issue since Redknapp made mention of his get-out clause.
While Magpies boss Alan Pardew is expecting Ba to move on, the club are confident of holding on to other highly-rated stars such as Cisse, Yohan Cabaye, Cheikh Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Tim Krul.
However, right-back Danny Simpson and midfielder Danny Guthrie will be allowed to leave this summer when their contracts expire and Newcastle will also listen to offers for former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling.