One of the battles that will occupy Alan Pardew throughout this summer will be to keep the squad that fired Newcastle to a fifth place finish in last season's superb campaign and one of the prey that could be targeted by circling vultures is Senegalese striker Demba Ba.
Ba proved to be a revelation after Pardew took a gamble on his dodgy-knee related fitness, hitting 16 goals in a scintillating start to the season before he backed off and let January signing Papiss Cisse have a go at finding the net on a regular basis.
There was a possibility Ba could be prized away from the North East after news emerged over a £10 million release clause in his contract, with which he has two years remaining at St James' Park.
Various prices have been quoted for the 27 year old hitman, with Liverpool and Spurs being linked over the summer, whilst Galatasaray also launched an enquiry according to Sky Italia, but Alan Pardew has made no secret of his desire to keep the striker and held emergency talks with Ba amidst rumours of his potential departure from the Magpies.
Ba has himself played down the rumours whereas influential midfielder Yohann Cabaye has urged the club not to be lured into selling their best players as they embark on an exciting new season and their Europa League campaign.
The Daily Mail have said that Newcastle are indeed well prepared should Ba be tempted to order a one-way ticket out of the North East, with a move for FC Twente's £10 million-rated Luuk De Jong on the cards, but Pardew would much rather keep his attack line proven and familiar, and most of all, keep it Senegalese.
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