Chelsea F.C. striker Demba Ba intends to stay at Stamford Bridge next season amid rumours linking him with a return to Newcastle United.
The Senegal international, 28, was overshadowed by the likes of Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o this past season but manager Jose Mourinho has asked him to stay with the West Londoners next term.
Ba, who was targeted by Arsenal last summer, ended the 2013/14 campaign on good form — netting five goals in his last 10 appearances in all competitions for the Blues.
“Jose Mourinho has asked me to stay at Chelsea next season,” Ba said. “He assured me that my situation wouldn’t change.
“I see this as my reward from God. I weighed up the pros and cons, and think that I will stay put to see what happens.
“I don’t know whether my situation will improve, but what with the coach’s offer anything can happen.
“I want to play a lot of matches and I think that will be the case for me.
“I was approached by Arsenal last August. But Mourinho refused to let me join them, as he said he didn’t want to help a rival team to get stronger.”
Ba attempted to talk up a move to French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain during the latter stages of the 2013/14 campaign.
However, he seems to want to stay at the Bridge…for now.
Kroos expects Bayern stay
In other news, F.C. Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos is expecting to stay in Germany despite persistent speculation linking him with a big-money move to Manchester United.
Earlier this week, the Daily Mail revealed that Kroos, who has one year remaining on his current deal with the German champions, was set to join United for £20 million but fresh reports are indicating new boss Louis van Gaal has ended the club’s pursuit of the 24-year-old midfielder.
“I am expecting to play for Bayern Munich next season,” said Kroos.
“At this point in time I am fully focused on preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“I know that I have to accept and respect the recent statements of the authorities at Bayern Munich.
“Still, honestly, I did not expect anything else in that respect after I had turned down the offer of a new contract I received from the club at the start of the current calendar year.”
With Kroos — tallied two goals and four assists in 29 Bundesliga appearances, including 24 starts, for Bayern last season — no longer in his plans, Van Gaal may be weighing up moves for A.S. Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman and FC Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas.