Ba ignoring Chelsea 'rumours'

Newcastle's No.19 happy at St James' Park amid speculation

Demba Ba: The Senegal international is understood to have a £7m release clause in his contract

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Demba Ba has played down reports linking him with a potential new-look Chelsea and insists he is happy at Newcastle.

The Senegal international's 16 Premier League goals this season have seen him mentioned as a possible replacement for Didier Drogba, who will be out of contract in the summer.

Chelsea are expected to overhaul their squad at the end of the season, when a new manager is likely to be appointed, and Frank Lampard and Michael Essien could also be leaving, while Fernando Torres has failed to justify his £50million price-tag.

Ba, 26, is a possible recruit and, with what is understood to be a £7m release clause in his contract, would prove excellent value for money to succeed 33-year-old Ivory Coast star Drogba.

But Europe-chasing Newcastle's No.19 has no plans to quit St James' Park, where he still has more than two years remaining on a contract, and he is building a partnership with compatriot Papiss Cisse.

Team spirit

Ba told Sky Sports when asked about a possible move to Chelsea: "It is rumours like you get in football.

"I am happy with Newcastle and I enjoy being here and playing for the Toon Army. I enjoy being in this team.

"We have a good team spirit and I love the North East, where I have my country-mate, Papiss Cisse."

Ba joined Newcastle last summer after becoming a free agent due to a clause in his contract following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League.

Drogba is reportedly set to join mega-rich Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, where he would be reunited with former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka.

There has also been speculation that Cheick Tiote has already agreed to move to Stamford Bridge next season as a replacement for Essien.