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Chelsea swoop to capture Newcastle's Ba

Friday 4 January 2013 13.00 CET
Demba Ba was key to Newcastle's fifth-place finish last term

Demba Ba has become Rafael Benítez's first signing as Chelsea FC manager after the Senegalese international agreed terms on a switch from Newcastle United FC and put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The 27-year-old striker has been the subject of much speculation since it was revealed that he had a €8.5m buy-out clause in his contract, and the Blues have moved quickly to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

"It feels good to be here, I'm very happy and very proud," said Ba. "It was important for me, and for Newcastle, to get my future sorted and now we can move on. Now they have the whole month to buy someone and for me as well, the sooner the better. Now I am here I just need to get settled in. When the club who won the Champions League wants you, the decision is very easy."

Ba scored 29 times in 54 league outings for Newcastle after signing on a free transfer in summer 2011 and helped the Magpies finish fifth last term – a place above the reigning European champions. He had previously enjoyed a successful six-month stint at West Ham United FC, after making his name during three-and-a-half seasons with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

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