Demba Ba will sign for Chelsea, says Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Pardew expects Ba to leave Newcastle

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew expects striker Demba Ba to complete his move to Chelsea without any hitches.

Ba, 27, was given permission to speak to Chelsea after the Blues triggered the release clause in his contract.

Speaking after Wednesday's 2-1 defeat by Everton, Pardew told BBC Sport: "I don't think he will be coming back; I think the deal will get done.

"We can move on - we're a massive club here. This club is bigger than any player, for sure."

It is believed that Ba's contract contains a clause which allows him to speak to other clubs in the event of a £7m bid.

The Senegal international, who joined Newcastle from West Ham in June 2011, has 13 Premier League goals this season, and was withdrawn from the squad to face Everton on Wednesday evening to talk to Chelsea.

Before the match against Everton, Pardew told Sky Sports: "We prepared on Tuesday with Demba in the side. I was in the dark as I have been on most of this particular deal because obviously the ball was in Demba's court.

"It's done. He will go to Chelsea with our blessing. He has done fantastically for us. It's a big club - good luck to him.

"For us, it's not a bad thing because of all the uncertainty of whether he was going to stay is now done."

Newcastle had attempted to negotiate a new deal with Ba in recent months, which would remove the clause, but it became active on 1 January.

Earlier this week, Magpies boss Alan Pardew was hopeful Ba would stay but criticised the network of people representing the player.

After Liverpool signed Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, Ba could be a replacement for the 23-year-old England striker at Stamford Bridge.

France-born Ba had trials at Barnsley and a spell at Watford but failed to land a contract and returned to France, where he had stints at Rouen and Mouscron before moving to Hoffenheim in 2007.

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The German club agreed to let him move to Stoke in a reported £6m deal in January 2011. However, after Ba failed a medical, he instead moved to West Ham later that month.

The forward scored seven goals in 13 games, but invoked a release clause in his contract after the Hammers were relegated.

Newcastle needed a player to replace Andy Carroll, who had joined Liverpool for £35m, and signed Ba on a three-year deal in June 2011.

Ba scored 16 goals during his first full season as Newcastle finished fifth and qualified for the Europa League.

He is the club's top scorer this season and his departure would leave Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi as the only senior strikers at the club. The pair have scored nine goals between them during the current campaign.