Newcastle United striker Demba Ba has insisted he is keen to remain at Tyneside with just four days to go before the release-clause in his contract expires. Speculation has been rife that the 27-year-old Senegal international could be used to help broker a deal to bring Liverpool's Andy Carroll back to the north-east.
But Ba insisted he wants to play for the Premier League side next season. "I don't care what is being said. I think it's part of the game," Ba told the Journal from Newcastle's training base in Portugal. "However, I have never said anything other than I love being at Newcastle. If they hear something from me about my future, that is the truth. Otherwise, everything that is said is not true.
"The newspapers and I are not very friendly at the moment. For months and months and months, people have been talking about me, but there is nothing happening. Of course, I am looking forward to next season with Newcastle. We just have to build on the progress we made last season. For me, I just can't wait to start the first game."
Ba arrived at St James' Park on a free transfer from West Ham United last summer and scored 15 goals before heading on African Nations Cup duty. He got just one more on his return after being asked to assume a different role following the January signing of compatriot Papiss Cisse, who scored 13 goals to help the Magpies' surge into the top five.