By David Anderson

Demba Ba was last night set to become the first of three Chelsea transfer window signings.

The Newcastle striker was locked in talks over a £7.5million switch to Stamford Bridge.

And Rafa Benitez’s spending won’t stop there, with a £10m move being lined up for Metalist Kharkiv’s midfielder Taison followed by Corinthians’ Paulinho.

Chelsea are prepared to activate the buy-out clause in Ba’s contract to make him their first signing of the January window.

They have moved for Ba because £48m-rated top target Radomel Falcao says is staying at Atletico Madrid at least until the summer.

The Blues see Ba as support for Fernando Torres and feel the Senegalese striker, who has scored 13 goals in 20 league appearances, represents great value.

He will cost £4.5million less than the £12million they are receiving from Liverpool for Daniel Sturridge and they will offer Ba £70,000-a-week.

Chelsea interim boss Rafa Benitez was tight-lipped on Ba last night, saying: “We do not talk about our business in public.

“He’s a player who plays for another team and I don’t like to talk about other players.”

Benitez was delighted to see Frank Lampard score twice to take his tally for Chelsea to 192 to lift the Blues to third, just four points behind second-placed Manchester City with a game in hand.

After enduring a baptism of fire, Benitez has won seven of his last eight games to turn around Chelsea’s campaign.

“We have a game in hand, but we still have to win it,” said Benitez, who confirmed Petr Cech suffered a groin injury during the game.

“We’re not watching the table too much. We’re just thinking about the next game and the next three points we will be trying to win. We will see where we are after some more games.”

Benitez also praised Lampard, although he offered Chelsea fans no encouragement that the club will offer him a new deal in the summer when his current one expires.

“He’s a great player and a good pro, who is doing extremely well for us,” he said. “We try to get the best from him and at the end of the season who knows? I just want him fit, happy and scoring goals.”

Lampard pledged to continue giving his all for Chelsea, even though he will be dumped in the summer.

“I keep trying to give my best, as I’ve always done when I’m here, and I’ll continue to do so,” he said.