Newcastle may be about to step out of the race to sign French International Hatem Ben Arfa.
Ben Arfa – could be going to 1899 Hoffenheim
The Marseilles midfielder will apparently cost £6M for an outright transfer and it looks like Newcastle are trying to get him on loan for a season with an option to buy next summer.
That season long loan deal would cost Newcastle £500K by all reports, but of course if the French club can get an outright deal they would take it.
One problem is that there are reports that German club 1899 Hoffenheim are very interested and they appear to be ready to buy the player having already held meetings with Ben Arfa. They seem to have the money too.
The club was in the fifth division in Germany in 2000, and made a rapid advance to the top-flight of Bundesliga in 2008, and still have the financial backing of alumnus and software big shot Dietmar Hopp.
He was one of the founders of SAP AG back in 1972, with other former IBM employees Hans Werner Hector, Klaus Tschira, Claus Wellenreuther and Hasso Plattner.
That could mean the £6M fee for 1899 Hoffenheim is not a problem for them – but it could well be too much for the famous Newcastle United club, with transfer money scarce on Tyneside this summer.
The Hoffenheim coach Peter Ziedler is quoted as saying:
“We were immediately on the same wavelength. Hatem made a good impression on us and we absolutely want him.”
If this news is indeed all true, we’d be surprised if Newcastle can make a deal for the 23 year-old – but you never know.