French daily L’Equipe have confirmed that Olympique Marseille have received offers for midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa from both Newcastle United and Werder Bremen.
Ben Arfa – have Newcastle bid for this 23 year-old player?
But before we get too carried away with this news, that paper also linked Newcastle recently with 33 year-old Paris St Germain’s attacking midfielder Ludovic Giuly – and that turned out to be incorrect.
But Chris Hughton has already said he thinks Ben Arfa is a cracking player so maybe this story is true – maybe – but hey it’s also another Sunday we have to remember.
Last week Chris also said to no bid had been made by Newcastle for the player, while at the same time saying he thought the 23 year-old winger/attacking midfielder, who is under contract at Marseilles until 2012, is very good.
The Frenchman has played for all the France Youth sides at every level from U16, and currently has 7 caps for France – but he is said to be unsettled under manager Didier Deschamps at Marseilles.
Links with Werder Bremen and Newcastle United were reported earlier in the week with Newcastle manager Chris Hughton commenting to the Newcastle Journal:
“I read about Ben Arfa”“He is a cracking player and it’s nice to see us linked with him, but there has been absolutely no contact there whatsoever.”
That didn’t stop L’Equipe coming out with the story today, with confirmation of an offer from Newcastle for the player, who was at the famous Clairefontaine Academy.
Ben Arfa may come as cheaply as £5M – and Hughton was quoted last week as saying Newcastle wanted to pick up some bargains, so maybe Newcastle have bid for this player.
The 23 year-old’s disciplinary record at his clubs is not good however, and there have been several altercations between the lad and his team-mates.
One was with Djibril Cisse, another with Sebastien Schillachi and a further rift with Karim Benzema – and he doesn’t get on too well with manager Didier Deschamps, the former French captain.
So we wonder if he is the kind of player Hughton would want right now at Newcastle – but of course there’s always two sides to any story.
His difficulties at his clubs was thought to be one reason for Ben Arfa missing the cut for Raymond Domenech’s World Cup campaign – but of course France were worse than hopeless in that tournament.
Ben Arfa can play on the left side of midfield or play just behind the strikers, and is a very skillful player indeed, and could be a big hit on Tyneside.
The lad turns 24 next March, so is the right age, and he has played for both Lyon and Marseilles, but surprisingly only has 13 appearances for Marseilles and 5 goals since moving there in 2008.
The Clamart, France born player is 5’11” tall and played 87 times with 11 goals fro Lyon since 2004.
What do you think about this story – comments very welcome.
Written from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.