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St James’ Park striker on Emirates Stadium radar.
Arsene Wenger is reportedly to make an offer for Newcastle United striker Demba Ba following the Magpies capture of Papiss Cisse. The Gunners boss is ready to offer a club record breaking £18m for the former West Ham man as he looks to bring in effective attacking options to shoulder the North London side’s goal-scoring burden that is at present practically carried solely by captain Robin Van Persie.
Demba Ba has been in stunning form thus far this season, netting 15 Premier League goals for the St James’ Park side and whilst talk of a £10m transfer release clause appear to be unfounded Wenger will look to tempt Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley into selling the 26 year old striker who cost the North-East club nothing.
Arsene Wenger has been linked with interest in a number of strikers as the likes of Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho struggle to make an impact at the Emirates Stadium and the Arsenal manager will be looking for a high level addition to strengthen his squad as well as acting as a spur to persuade Van Persie to put pen to paper on a new deal, with his current contract having less than 18 months to run.
Wenger was reportedly interested in the Paris born Senegal international prior to his move from Hoffenheim to Upton Park but was seemingly scared off due to talk of persistent knee injury concerns. However Ba notched up 30 Premier League appearances in 2011, netting 22 goals in the process, allaying those injury fears.
Alan Pardew will be loathed to lose Ba but having signed his international team-mate Cisse there is growing speculation that an offer could prove successful.
Arsenal will make their offer this month but may end up having to wait until the summer given that Ba is away on African Nations Cup duty until mid-February. Arsene Wenger knows that the very least that is expected of his side this term is a top four finish and with Chelsea four points clear of the Gunners and with Liverpool and Newcastle United close behind the addition of new players in January could well be needed.