Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on Newcastle United striker Demba Ba but claims that a deal has not been done between the two clubs ahead of January.

Wenger is keen to add a striker to his squad in January and Ba seems to fit the bill of a physical, goalscorer proven in the Premier League.

The Senegalese forward has a £7.5million buy-out clause in his current contract and it is no secret that Newcastle want their main man to stay.

Alan Pardew has recently spoken of his fear that a club like Arsenal will meet the valuation of Ba in January and he will subsequently lose his main goalscorer.

Ba will be looking to impress Wenger and co on Saturday as the Geordies visit the Emirates in the tea time kick off.

Wenger feels that this is not the ideal time to be talking about possible signings especially with the player lining up against them on Saturday evening.

“I like Demba Ba, yes. I don’t think [this] is the right place to speak about that, because he plays against us tomorrow,” Wenger told the Daily Mirror.

“I wouldn’t like to put Newcastle or us or him in an uncomfortable position. If you ask me: ‘Do we sign Demba Ba?’ I say no.

“Any interest we have in any players has to be kept secret at the moment. I cannot come out with any name.

“Cisse is a typical goal-getter and Demba Ba has great power.

“You feel there is a good understanding there as well. They both come from Senegal [and] play together in the national team so there’s a good friendship as well, that makes them stronger.”