DEMBA Ba’s future will be resolved over the coming weeks, according to Alan Pardew.
The striker is available for £7.5m in next month’s transfer window because of a release clause in his contract.
Ba could well leave if a club activates the clause – and meets his wage demands.
However, should the 27-year-old stay at St James’s Park - and manager Pardew doesn’t want him to leave - he will be told to sign a new long-term contract, or he else be sold in the summer.
Pardew is tired of the on-going saga of his contract, which has been an unwanted distraction for the past 12 months.
“I think this is the last window that this will roll on,” Pardew said.
“In the summer, I will cut our losses with Demba. We’ll enforce a move if he doesn’t commit to the club. Or we will get a replacement.”
Newcastle had little choice but to agree to the intricacies in the contract when he signed last year from West Ham United - as they themselves were exploiting a clause in his Upton Park deal which allowed him to leave on a free transfer if the club was relegated.
But Pardew, frustrated at the constant and unsettling speculation over his future, says the situation needs to be reevaluated.
“I don’t think it’s healthy,” he added. “At the time, the contract made sense for everybody, but now it doesn’t make sense.
“Therefore, I think it will be resolved in this window.”
Ba is United’s leading scorer with 11 goals, and he will lead the line against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
Pardew believes the Senegal international is happy on the pitch at St James’s Park, but discussions off the field over a new deal have been tortuous, with Ba reportedly looking for a £80,000-a-week wage.
And he is powerless to stop him leaving the club, whether it be for football or financial reasons.
“I don’t see in him any desire to go – regardless of all the media,” said Pardew.
“But with our fans here, I think he’ll find it difficult to find a better home to be honest.
“We gave him the opportunity, and he’s scored goals here. I think he enjoys it here, and I want him to stay.
“But it’s out of my hands – there’s nothing I can do about it at this stage. The ball is completely in Demba’s court.”