Chelsea Trigger Demba Ba Release Clause: What Offer Means for the Blues

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2013

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15:  Demba Ba of Newcastle United reacts to a missed chance during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on December 15, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

We may be just two days into the January transfer window but Chelsea are taking no time in getting their transfer business rolling after the official Newcastle United website announced that the Blues had triggered the striker's release clause.

The stipulation, believed to be in the region of £7 million, means that Ba will be unavailable for the Magpies match against Everton Wednesday evening.

For weeks, speculation has circulated around just where the Senegalese forward would be heading if he was unable to work out a new contract with Newcastle, and it would now seem that Stamford Bridge could be the answer.

Twitter has gone abuzz with the news in the minutes following the transfer news, with Stan Collymore of talkSPORT commenting on the matter, saying:

BREAKING. Chelsea meet Demand Ba release clause price to make official offer. @talksport

— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) January 2, 2013

With Ba potentially heading to west London, it's highly likely that Romelu Lukaku will remain on loan with West Brom instead of being recalled by his parent club as many were predicting.

The move could also spell the end of Daniel Sturridge's Chelsea career. The former Manchester City attacker has been closely linked with a £12 million move to Liverpool (via BBC Sport), and Ba's arrival will certainly increase the chances of that deal going through.

Of course, Fernando Torres will be another of those likely to be affected by Ba's acquisition. As of yet, Rafa Benitez has been happy to put up with his compatriot and hand the former Atletico Madrid star a starting place.

However, those decisions could be more out of a lack of attacking options than choice, and with Ba at Chelsea, the Blues manager will have another prolific figure to look to for goals.

That being said, Ba still has to dot the Is and cross the T's before officially completing any transfer to Chelsea, an aspect of football that has become more controversial than ever to sort in these latter stages.

You can follow me on Twitter @TomSunderland.