31/12/2012 04:33 GMT | Updated 31/12/2012 04:56 GMT

Demba Ba To Chelsea (TRANSFER TALK)

Frank Lampard's incredible goal-getting knack at Goodison Park was swiftly overshadowed as Chelsea emerged as the likeliest to trigger Demba Ba's £7.5m release clause.

Almost all the papers are running the story after Sky Sports broke the news at half-time of Chelsea's 2-1 comeback away to Everton, courtesy of two opportunistic takes from Lampard.


Chelsea have held "unproductive discussions" over Ba's future.

Press Association Sport understands club officials met the 27-year-old's representatives last night, but that the deal on the table did not come close to meeting the point where he would consider leaving St James' Park.

However, the two sides have been unable to reach agreement and with the player's network of representatives clearly active behind the scenes, the waters are becoming increasingly muddied by the day.

demba ba

Ba scored twice on what may have been his last Newcastle appearance at Arsenal

The Mail say Ba will be paid a £2m loyalty bonus by Newcastle as he prepares to complete a move back to London. Ba scored twice in the Magpies' 7-3 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday and is the club's top scorer with 13 goals.

Simultaneously a lot of papers are carrying obituaries to the brilliant Lampard, who is out of contract in June and free to talk with prospective suitors as of New Year's Day. He is yet to be offered a new deal by the club who signed him for £11m in 2001.

frank lampard

Lampard could be on the move

Lampard's former West Ham teammate Joe Cole could also be heading back to the capital to join former mentor Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers. The Loftus Road side's pathetic loss to Liverpool on Sunday was their last match before the transfer window opens and Sky Sports say Redknapp is looking to Cole for some much-needed inspiration.

The Mail add Redknapp will be given £20m to sign Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila, 22, Marseille striker Loïc Rémy, 25, and West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diamé, 25. None of them are defenders, so Clint Hill's still OK.

Fancy a laugh? Manchester United could sign former star Cristiano Ronaldo for as little as £60m from Real Madrid, with Old Trafford keeper David de Gea and winger Nani both part of the deal. That from the Sun's 'European football correspondent'. While feasible Ronaldo will return (to play for, rather than against) United, £60m? Even the outlandish inclusion of Nani and De Gea in a deal wouldn't reduce the second best player in the world, at the age of 28, to £20m under the £80m he left for in 2009.

The Mirror meanwhile say Ronaldo's teammate Xabi Alonso is considering a return to the Premier League. The Spaniard left Liverpool in 2009 after enjoying five years on Merseyside.

Theo Walcott has been given two weeks to sign da ting, sorry, sign a new contract with Arsenal. The Mail maintain Arsenal are taking the hardline stance, or are maintaining it for them.

Tim Cahill could return to the Premier League sooner though. Sunderland are in talks to sign former Everton midfielder on loan from current side New York Red Bulls, say Press Association.