The deal for Newcastle to take Hatem Ben Arfa to Newcastle seems to have collapsed, but the player still wants to come to Tyneside and is trying to force the deal through.
Hatem Ben Arfa – on strike at Marseilles?
News last night was that Hatem has said he never wants to play for Marseilles again, and he has disappeared and is presumably on strike – or that’s what the French press is reporting..
Now that a deal has been agreed to allow Mamadou Niang to leaves for Turkish side Fenerbahce, the French club want to keep Ben Arfa at the club for next season.
The next couple of days will be interesting to say the least, and Marseilles President Jean-Claude Dassier talked to Goal in France today:
“Hatem will remain at the club. We will not loan him out when Mamadou Niang leaves for Fenerbahce.”
“We will not be creating problems for the sake of creating problems.” “I do not have to sell him off. If Newcastle are unable to buy him, that is their problem.”
“I personally do not think this a good choice for him. Even if they come with an offer, it will take some time and we would advise him to be careful,”
It’s clear that Newcastle do not have the cash to buy the player outright right now, which is why they wanted to take the lad on loan first, but it seems that Marseilles are now digging in their heels on any loan move.
And in an earlier statement Jean-Claude Dassier tried to shift some of the attention to the Newcastle camp, by claiming manager Chris Hughton was not in step with those in power on Tyneside:
‘I do not think the coach of Newcastle is in-step with his leaders, if you believe his statements.”
Newcastle do not do their transfer business in public, but will need to reassess their position on this loan deal, and that old adage – nothing comes easy for Newcastle – seems to be true – at least with this deal, which has presumably been in the works for weeks.
We think there’s very little chance of Newcastle buying the player outright, although the Tyneside club may try to sweeten their loan deal.
What’s to Newcastle’s advantage in all of this is that Hatem Ben Arfa seems to have his heart set on playing for Newcastle, so that may help the Tyneside club to still push the deal through.
But right now it doesn’t look good that the very skillful and talented 23 year-old will end up at Newcastle.
However, stanger things have happened.