News today in the Newcastle Journal that Newcastle United may have suffered a bit of a setback, in their bid to sign Hatem Ben Arfa on loan from French Champions Marseilles.
Ben Arfa – deal held up
Newcastle officials believe the French club have tried to start a bidding war for the services of their 23 year-old midfielder.
The Journal had reported the two clubs had agreed a deal, at least verbally, but now Marseilles have apparently put a block on the deal, at least in the short term.
The deal was a £770K one-year loan agreement, but a meeting between the two clubs, which was due to take place today has been cancelled by Marseilles.
Newcastle will not be drawn into a bidding war by the tactics used by some clubs, which seems to include Marseilles, to increase the price they get for their player. It would appear Marseilles are trying to give time for other clubs to come in, either with a much better loan offer, or with an outright bid to sign Ben Arfa.
Since Ben Arfa wants to play in the Premier League they may be hoping for some English clubs to become interested.
Three other clubs involved are Benfica, Rubin Kazan (Russia) or Hoffenheim (Germany) but Ben Arfa does not want to join any of those clubs, and Newcastle know that Marseilles have to decrease their wage bill by unloading some players.
Ben Arfa is now with the French squad, who are getting ready for their game against Norway tonight, but the lad has made it clear to his agent that he wants to play in the PL next season.
Maybe that will be with Newcastle United, once the Marseilles club have a few more days to think things over.