The Senegal international has long been linked with a move away from St. James’ Park as a result of a release clause, thought to be around £7.5m, inserted into his contract from when he left West Ham United.
The performances of Fernando Torres saw the blues linked with a move for a new striker in January and while Radamel Falcao had been the reported preference of owner Roman Abramovich, it now appears Ba is the man set to move to Stamford Bridge.
While Torres is likely to feel the heat of the increase in competition, one player on the books is likely to suffer as a result of the Newcastle front-man – Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium international was signed from Anderlecht 18-months ago but has made just 12 appearances over the season.
As a result, the 19-year-old was shipped out on loan to West Bromwich Albion and has now begun to showcase why Chelsea splashed out on a fee that could rise to £18m for the teenager. Nevertheless, as good as his performances have been for the Baggies, the arrival of Ba is likely to see Lukaku slip down the pecking order at the club.
While one hopes this isn’t the case for the Belgian, it may be the case, unless he’s sent out on a short term deal again next season. Nevertheless, if Chelsea do opt to recall him for the 2013/14 campaign, his growth as a player is likely to suffer as a result.
By Ben McAleer