LONDON - Striker Demba Ba could play for Chelsea in the FA Cup on Saturday after the west London club announced the signing of the Newcastle star, ending an 18-month spell at the Magpies during which he helped them to fifth spot in the English Premier League last season.
Chelsea said on Friday the 27-year-old had joined on a three-and-a-half year contract for an undisclosed fee and would be eligible to play in the Blues' FA Cup third-round match against Southampton on Saturday.
"When the club who won the Champions League wants you, the decision is very easy. This club is massive and that's something that helped the decision a lot. It was not a hard one," Ba said on chelseafc.com.
Newcastle confirmed this week that they had given permission to approach the player after meeting the STG7 million ($F19.9m) asking price that triggered a release clause in his contract.
Ba, who moved to Tyneside in 2011, was subsequently withdrawn from manager Alan Pardew's squad for the 2-1 Premier League loss at home to Everton on Wednesday evening that did little to ease the injury-hit northeast England club's woes.
Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez has made no secret of his search for extra options up front.