. Demba Ba holds the key to any emotional return to Tyneside for Liverpool’s £35million man Andy Carroll.
Sunday Express: Only if Ba’s release clause – under which he can leave for £7m – is activated by Tuesday’s midnight deadline will Newcastle United make a move for their ex-striker.
Newcastle are powerless to prevent Senegal international Ba’s people talking to interested parties until the end of July.
It is understood a couple of clubs in Russia and Turkish giants Galatasaray are involved in talks.
Newcastle want Ba to stay and are prepared to offer him an improved contract.
Once Tuesday night’s deadline has passed the ball is back in their court over whether he leaves, with the transfer fee being set by the Newcastle hierarchy.
West Ham want Carroll on a season-long loan with the promise of shelling out a club record fee of £17m next summer for the England international.
But Sunday Express Sport understands that Carroll does not want to move to Upton Park even though Hammers manager Sam Allardyce is prepared to build his Premier League assault around him.