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Chelsea schedule Ba talks; Zaha ready for EPL move

Chelsea are reportedly scheduled to meet with Demba Ba’s representatives on Sunday evening ahead of the reopening of the transfer window on 2 January, Sky Sports understands.

Ba, 27, has a £7 million release clause in his current contract, and is subsequently attracting interest from a number of clubs in the English Premier League and abroad, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and French Ligue 1 moneybags Paris Saint-Germain mentioned as potential destinations for the Senegal international striker.

The former TSG 1899 Hoffenheim striker is tied with Michu of Swansea City for second top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals, one adrift of top scorer Robin van Persie of top-of-the-table Manchester United.

In Ba, Chelsea would receive a top striker with a fantastic habit of scoring goals in bunches, while simultaneously replacing Daniel Sturridge, who is expected to join Liverpool when the transfer window reopens on 2 January.

Following Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, Rafael Benitez insisted he knew nothing of reports suggesting a meeting between the club and Demba Ba’s representatives.

“No, because we don’t talk about this business, we had a very important game today,” revealed Benitez.

Zaha ready for EPL move

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has revealed he is ready for a move to England’s top flight, insisting that he would even welcome a January move, Sky Sports reports.

Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are being linked with the 20-year-old Ivorian-born England international ahead of the winter transfer window.

Zaha is thought of as the best player in the English League Championship by many football experts, who believe that the Gunners have the best chance to lure the 20-year-old winger to the Premier League.

The England international has bagged five goals and four assists in 26 appearances in all competitions for the Eagles this season.

“I’m not a teenager any more,” Zaha told the Mail on Sunday.

“I’ve played more than 100 first-team games and this year is crucial to develop my football career. I want to establish myself in the Premier League and in international football.

“I’ve played a lot in the Championship so having that new challenge in the Premier League, where everyone wants to be, would be great.

“To be honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it’s something I’d want to go for.”

Crystal Palace value Wilfried Zaha at £20 million, according to the club’s co-chairman Steve Parish, who revealed the following regarding the 20-year-old ace in October: “I said at the start of the season that keeping hold of Wilf would be like spending a lot of money on a transfer. Other sides can fly their kites but it would take £20m before we even got interested.”

Sun 30 December, 2012
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