Demba Ba remains a Newcastle United player, despite rumours of an €11 million move to Turkish club Galatasaray.
There was an article on the Turkish version of Eurosport this afternoon asserting that Demba Ba had agreed to join the Turks for €11 million – as reported on TV channel Sky Sports Italia. The article was later changed.
In fact, the Twitter trend itself made the headlines on the Independent website this afternoon, sandwiched between Walter Smith trying to buy Rangers and a mental health debate (unrelated, however ironic the link).
Just before 4.00pm a tweet was issued by Demba Ba’s brother Hamady Ba reading “I just want to tell everybody that Demba Ba has signed nothing“. Sky Sports followed suit and then the club told local journalists in the North East that there hadn’t been any approach for Ba from any team. To add, Gary Lineker asked Alan Pardew, who was studio guest as part of BBC’s Euro 2012 coverage about the Ba rumours. Clearly Ba is going nowhere and so, Sky Bet have stopped taking all bets on his leaving.
Meanwhile, the club’s president and manager have been like an Istanbul in a china shop, flaming the transfer to life. Club official Bulent Tulun was reportedly in the UK last week offering a lucrative salary, Champions League football and a place in the first team. The President, Ünal Aysal himself told local media that Ba is a “good player” but the technical staff at the club have not asked us to sign him. If the manager wants Ba, we can “sign him tomorrow.”
Galatasaray need firepower, if you look at their forwards’ stats. Milan Baros (yes you thought he was retired until he popped up in the Czech team for Euro 2012) scored 8 goals for Galatasaray and former Bolton striker Johan Elmander scored 12 last season. The Istanbul team won the Turkish Super Lig with goals from midfield too. Selcuk Inan was top scorer with 13 goals, and Juventus’ on-loan striker Felipo Melo bagged 12.
Of all the transfer saga’s doing the rounds at present, this is the strangest. A release clause that no-one has released, a medical history but no discreetly positioned doctors, persuading an International colleague to come to Newcastle and then leaving? Given Ba’s lack of goals more recently, we don’t even have any t-shirt telegrams to appraise.
Let us just see what happens, and we haven’t even started talking about Chelsea. Madness.