Newcastle look close to signing hard man Cheick Tiote of FC Twente, the Dutch Champions, and we hope that deal can be completed before tomorrow’s important game with Aston Villa.
Ben Arfa – Newcastle still pursuing this player?
Tiote will give some steel to the Newcastle midfield, and a player who is almost the opposite, with sublime and silky skills, is 23 year-old Hatem Ben Arfa.
And even though it has looked like Newcastle were dead in the water in trying to sign the French International, after he was on Tyneside last weekend trying to force through his move to Newcastle, it seems the Tyneside club are still in the lead to get this lad on loan, after Werder Bremen yesterday denied any interest in the player.
Hughton has played his cards very close to his chest throughout the transfer window, and we like the way Chris keeps quiet about everything until the deal is done, and that’s a nice change for a Newcastle manager, and one of Chris’ strengths in the transfer market.
And while Hughton has refused to say much about Ben Arfa at all, the very fact he has said something this morning to the Newcastle Journal, could suggest the club may be closer to getting this player on Tyneside.
This is what Chris said today about Ben Arfa:
“He is very much a player we are aware of,” “He is a good player but there’s certainly nothing to say on that one.”“I read the reports,”
“Certainly I have not seen him.” “Anything regarding Ben Arfa, it is categorically speculation.”
“Is he a player I like and admire, yes. But I honestly don’t know what the position is. I honestly don’t know.”
If Chris does not know what the current situation is, you could argue the deal is hardly dead in the water.
We are still hoping the deal can be made with Marseilles, but their President Jean-Claude Dassier will have to take an ego hit, if indeed the Newcastle club, whom he appears to dislike, gets their man.
The latest news is that Ben Arfa’s wage demands have put off several clubs across Europe, and the Frenchman was photographed on Tyneside this week but Hughton was claiming ignorance over it all.
And there is news on some fan sites today, that Ben Arfa is back in Newcastle right now, but we have no idea if those rumors are true.
But if we can wrap the Tiote deal up this weekend, and then bring in Ben Arfa, then most Newcastle fans would be very pleased with those two players – silk and steel in the form of Ben Arfa and Tiote in our midfield.