Newcastle United are ready to sell striker Demba Ba in the opening days of the January transfer window so that they have time to bring in an adequate replacement.
The Senegal international still has a £7million release clause in his contract and Newcastle are concerned that another Premier League side may make an offer in the New Year.
Newcastle had the same concerns last summer but no bid arrived, however, this time round it seems that the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool may be interested in signing the striker who has already scored 10 Premier League goals this season.
Ba has so far been unable to agree a new contract with Newcastle and, having already turned down an offer of £70,000-a-week, it now seems they are prepared to allow him to leave in the New Year.
The Mirror has previously stated how Liverpool have sent chief scout Alan Harper to watch the forward on a number of occasions already this season, and with a lack of options in attack the Reds may look to sign Ba in January.
However, it seems they are likely to face competition from Arsenal, who have also been linked with Schalke striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar as manager Arsene Wenger looks to bolster his options in attack.
With Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud both managing just four league goals this season, Arsenal have missed the prolific form of Robin van Persie and may view Ba as the perfect option.
Ba has scored just one goal less than the former Arsenal striker this season, despite playing in a Newcastle side that is struggling at the wrong end of the table.
The north east club are also desperate to avoid a situation similar to the one that saw Andy Carroll leave Newcastle to join Liverpool on the final day of the 2011 January transfer window - leaving the club unable to bring in a replacement.
This time round the Mirror says that they are prepared to sanction his sale as long as it happens within the first week of January so that they can attempt to land their own long-term target in Marseille forward Loic Remy.
The France international has long been linked with a move to the Premier League and it seems that Newcastle have already made contact with his representatives and his club, in order to try and complete a £10million deal.
To contact the editor, e-mail: