Arsenal may still be keen on Newcastle striker Demba Ba, says Matt Law
Matt Law told The Supplement Arsenal may still be keen on Demba Ba, but are unlikely to land Nani.
Last Updated: 31/12/12 11:24am
The Arsenal manager was asked about both players in his post-match press conference following the 7-3 thrashing of Newcastle and immediately indicated that Manchester United were unwilling to sell their winger to a Premier League rival.
However, when he was asked about a potential move for Ba - who scored twice in Saturday's extraordinary game, Wenger was much more coy.
And Law, the Chief Football Writer of the Sunday Mirror, suspects there may be some substance in the rumours that Arsenal will try to sign the Senegal striker.
He explained: "On Friday he tried to deny it and say 'I like him, but I won't be signing him', but yesterday he changed his tune on that and said he was excellent.
"When the follow-up question asked if he would like to sign him, he said he didn't want to answer that - which makes you think 'aha, something's there'.
"On Nani, he immediately said they would not be signing any players from Manchester United. Again, you try and read the signs and it makes you think there was possibly a little enquiry and he was told there was no chance.
"It's very difficult [to read him]. You almost have to have a Wenger Radar on. It's usually the opposite and no means yes.
"He has ways of answering questions and for the Nani one, rather than saying he wasn't interested in the player he said they won't be signing a player from Manchester United - i.e. 'we might have asked Manchester United about him, but they won't be selling him to us.'"
Ba reportedly has a £7.5million release clause in his contract and could be set for a huge payday if he leaves Newcastle in January.
His advisors appear keen to move him on from St James' Park - with Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool also linked with the player - and Law says Newcastle are paying the price for failing to renegotiate his contract sooner.
"My sympathy runs out a little bit because Newcastle picked him up for next to nothing," he added.
"They agreed to this contract, put him on about £30,000-a-week and had they identified a bit quicker what he was they could have upped his wages to £50,000 and tried to get rid of the clause.
"They're doing it all a bit late now and now they're stuck."