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Demba Ba may be on the move, but not to Arsenal

Chelsea v Indonesia All-Stars

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JULY 25: Demba Ba of Chelsea run for the ball during the match between Chelsea and Indonesia All-Stars at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on July 25, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

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After starting a 12 days ago against Aston Villa, Demba Ba’s been nowhere to be seen for Chelsea, which explains today’s loan speculation. The Senegalese striker, purchased in January from Newcastle, seems to be third in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, and while the potential loan move of Romelu Lukaku to Everton or West Brom could change that, interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham is still being reported.

Like everything else on Deadline Day, those reports (here’s one) have evolved throughout the day. At one point, it was thought Ba would be loaned to a third club, with Chelsea unwilling to give a player to a direct competitor. Then came news the real issue with Arsenal was the fee, the two clubs unable to agree on compensation for the year-long move. With the third club, with whom Chelsea has supposedly worked out a deal, yet to be identified, Ba’s future is in a predictable transfer netherworld. Will he be cast unto the depths of José Mourinho’s depth chart? Or set free to play actual soccer.

With 80 minutes to go in the window, there’s plenty of time for 28-year-old to find a new home, potentially his fourth since moving from Hoffenheim in 2011.