ALAN Pardew has insisted there are “no problems” between himself and Demba Ba – despite unsettling comments from both the player’s agent and his brother in recent days.
However, it has emerged Ba still has a clause in his contract which could see him leave in January for the same £7m fee he was available at in the summer.
Ba is in talks with United over a new contract and the removal of the clause – yet a deal has yet to be struck due to the player’s astronomical wage demands.
Ba was left out of the Newcastle squad which flew to Madeira for tonight’s Europa League group stage opener against Maritimo.
However, since the Twitter outburst by his agent ahead of the game at Everton on Monday and subsequent interviews with his representative, United manager Pardew has had a conversation with the Senegal ace and ironed out any issues.
Pardew had rested the striker against Everton before having to throw him on in the second half with his side trailing in the match – and he responded with two goals.
He said: “I have no problems with Demba. He’s a key player – trust me.
“He’s a team player and that’s why I signed him. He’ll always be like that.
“I have spoke to him and he’s fine. Some of the comments made are out of his control and out of my control.
“We know each other well enough. The situation is ongoing with him and his contract.”
Pardew refused to be drawn further on comments from those close to Ba, but he did add: “I just think it is people saying things they think they should say.
“It doesn’t really affect myself and Demba. We have a good relationship.
“The bottom line is you have to get players to play at their best.
“Sometimes there are different methods of doing it.”
Pardew feels Newcastle are no different to any other club when it comes to resting players.
He added: “You look at any of the top clubs – even Robin van Persie misses games.
“We are a big club too and we have to get results, that’s our job.
“We have to do the job irrespective of personal opinions about the team.”
Meanwhile, Pardew resisted the temptation to give Ba a late call-up to the squad which travelled to the Portuguese holiday island after Papiss Cissé pulled out due to sickness.
Pardew said: “Papiss pulled out on Wednesday morning. He had diarrhoea and vomiting.
“I’d already made the decision. I will go with what we have in the group.”
It means Shola Ameobi could play as the lone striker in Funchal, while Gabriel Obertan could also play in a five-man midfield.
Padew added: “We have young (Adam) Campbell and it is a great opportunity for him to travel and get a piece of it.”