LONDON (AFP) – Chelsea have been given permission to approach Newcastle United striker Demba Ba after making an offer that triggered a release clause in his contract, Newcastle confirmed on Wednesday.
Chelsea can now open talks with the 27-year-old Senegal striker after meeting the £7 million ($11.4 million, 8.6 million euros) asking price stipulated in his contract.
Ba, who joined Newcastle in 2011, was subsequently withdrawn from manager Alan Pardew’s squad for the Premier League fixture at home to Everton on Wednesday evening.
“Newcastle United can confirm that Chelsea Football Club has made an official offer for Demba Ba which has triggered the release clause in the player’s contract,” Newcastle said in a statement.
“The club has given the player permission to speak to Chelsea FC and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight’s (Wednesday’s) game against Everton.”
Ba has been a major success at St James’ Park, scoring 16 league goals in his debut season and taking his total for the current campaign to 13 with a brace in the 7-3 loss at Arsenal on Saturday.
The Senegalese frontman made his name during a prolific four-year spell with German club Hoffenheim and joined English side West Ham United in January 2011 after a proposed move to Stoke City collapsed due to a failed medical examination.
He scored seven goals in 12 games for West Ham but left to join Newcastle after the London club were relegated at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Meanwhile, French right-back Mathieu Debuchy was reportedly set to arrive in Newcastle on Wednesday to begin talks over a move to the club.
The 27-year-old Lille defender was expected to travel to Newcastle after the two clubs reportedly agreed a fee for his transfer over the weekend.