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No foundation in Demba Ba rumours, say Newcastle United
NEWCASTLE UNITED are not expected to attempt to entice Demba Ba back to St James’ Park in the summer.
The Magpies were linked with an approach for their former striker, who is now at Chelsea, by footballdirectnews, the website operated by Sports Direct, owned by Newcastle supremo Mike Ashley, as a replacement for Loic Remy, who returns to QPR in the summer - but it is understood that the story has no foundation.
Footballdirectnews quoted a ‘club insider’ as saying: “Demba was a terrific player for us and we'd love to have him back.
"I think even if we manage to keep [Loic] Remy there'll be another player brought in upfront."
As it stands, Newcastle have irons in the fire with regard to the striker situation, with Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis still ranking high on the Magpies’ hitlist.
Gomis was the subject of considerable interest from Newcastle during the summer transfer window but negotiations were brought to a halt by former director of football Joe Kinnear.
It was reported this week that Besiktas had reached an agreement with the forward as a replacement for Hugo Almeida, who is yet to sign a new contract, but the Turkish outfit have since denied this.
Gomis is free to speak to clubs this month as his contract with Lyon is set to expire at the end of the season.
The 28-year-old joined Lyon from St Etienne for 13m Euros in 2009 and has scored 85 goals and provided 20 assists from 216 appearances for the Ligue 1 side.
Meanwhile, Yohan Cabaye scored his first Paris St Germain goal since securing a move to the French capital from Newcastle at the end of last month.
Midfielder Cabaye scored PSG’s fourth goal in the Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night, and believes his career can develop further alongside players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
"Yes, of course, learning alongside such players is important,” said Cabaye, who was dubbed ‘Dreamboat’ while at St James’ Park.
"You have to be listening. It is also important to observe well how they prepare and the investment they put into these games.
"The qualification is almost gained but we do not think about it. We will play very seriously for 90 minutes at the Parc (des Princes).
"It is difficult to compare but Paris has nothing to envy of the very big English clubs.
"PSG have great players. We are in a competition that will crown the best team in Europe and we are still in the race. I hope we will go as far as possible.
"I think it is a step forward for me. I have a lot of respect for my old team-mates at Newcastle, but now I am playing for the title in France and in the Champions League.”
Meanwhile, the Magpies have announced they are offering a reduction in price for those supporters who have signed up to the club’s price freeze season ticket deals at St James’ Park.
Supporters who are signed up to the deals, which guarantee a freeze on the holder's season ticket price for the duration of their respective term, will be the first fans to receive confirmation of their automatic renewals and individual direct debit payment plans for the new season.
Fans on ten-year deals will pay from £327 for adults, £286 for students and seniors and £90 for juniors for the 2014/15 campaign.
John Irving, finance director at Newcastle United, said: "Keeping football affordable for supporters continues to be a hugely important aim at Newcastle United so we are delighted to announce our ticketing plans for the 2014/15 season.
"Supporters on long term price-freeze deals continue to show incredible loyalty to their football club so it is only right that their commitment continues to be acknowledged and rewarded. We look forward to finishing this season as strongly as possible with those supporters right behind the team before we look to build into next season."
The club is also introducing a new, lower-priced category for supporters aged 18-21, with seats available in selected areas of the lower Leazes End and Level 4 of the Leazes West Corner. This is in addition to the 8,200-capacity Family Area, which includes the entirety of Level 7 in the Milburn Stand and Leazes West Corner.
Fixed-term price freezes were introduced with a ten-year deal ahead of the 2011/12 campaign, with season ticket holders on the long-term scheme guaranteed to keep their price as low as possible and protect it from potential future price increases.
A nine-year price-freeze deal was introduced a season later, with the eight-year deal launched in the following season.