West Ham 'admire' former star Demba Ba but are not looking to bring him back to the club

West Ham Dugout

West Ham United 'admire' former star Demba Ba but contrary to reports will not be in the market for the Besiktas striker, according to a club insider.

The Hammers have been linked with a move for the former Newcastle United and Chelsea forward this summer by the likes of The Times.

But a source at West Ham, dubbed the 'Boleyn Insider', which has their own blog on the club's official website, has today quashed talk of a return to East London for the Senegal hitman.

Speaking in the 'behind-the-scenes' blog, the source poured cold water on the rumours, saying: "The latest reports have seen West Ham United linked with former striker Demba Ba.

"My understanding is that the club admire him a great deal but they are not expected to make a move for the Senegalese international."

The Hammers already have Andy Carroll, Ba's compatriot Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate in their striking ranks.

But the club has been linked with a move for Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin, by the Daily Star, to bolster a squad that struggled to cope with injuries up front last season.

Ba, who scored seven goals in 12 games for the Hammers after signing in 2011, was snapped up by Slaven Bilic for Besiktas last year and went on to score 18 goals in 29 games for the Turkish side.

The 30-year-old took to Twitter last week to congratulate his old boss on landing the West Ham job.

And it would have been interesting to see how the pair fared together back in the Premier League because, aside from the fact they worked together at Besiktas, Ba and Bilic's time in East London share a number of similarities.

Bilic quickly become a fans' favourite with his passionate and skilful defensive displays for the Irons between 1996 and 1997, but just when Hammers fans had taken him to their hearts he left the club for Everton in pursuit of "a better chance to win trophies."

Ba was signed by the Hammers in the January transfer window of 2011 with the club staring relegation in the face under the hapless Avram Grant.

He too wasted little time endearing himself to the West Ham faithful, scoring seven goals in 12 games. But it was to end in tears as the Hammers were relegated on the final day and Ba departed for Newcastle United shortly after.

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