Well – would you believe it – 23 year-old Hatem Ben Arfa’s move to Newcastle United may be back on – and that’s according to new reports coming out of France and a report in today’s Evening Chronicle.
Hatem Ben Arfa – interesting Newcastle again?
The Marseilles President Jean-Claude Dassier has said today that a deal with Newcastle has now been agreed.
The French club have agreed to loan out the French international, now that an additional clause the French club wanted in the contract – to make the deal permanent should he play more than 25 matches – has been agreed to by the Newcastle club.
It is thought the fee will be around £5M to sign the player permanently after 25 matches.
Ben Arfa travelled to Tyneside just two weeks ago, in an attempt to arrange his own move to the Premier League club, but couldn’t talk with Newcastle because no deal had been agreed with Marseilles at that time.
Newcastle are yet to respond to the claims from Marseilles, but this news is not that surprising if it is true, since news that other clubs were supposedly linked with the player seem to have been unfounded.
These clubs have included Werder Bremen, Liverpool, AC Milan and even Manchester United.
So far in his career Ben Arfa has played 178 first class games with 26 goals for Lyon and Marseilles – and that’s about the same number of games that Steven Taylor has played for Newcastle, so the lad is quite experienced.
If the news is indeed true, and of course we have no idea whether the reports in France are true this time around – what a saga this one has been – this will come as a big lift to Newcastle fans.
While the lad may be difficult to handle, he’s nevertheless a wonderful footballer with sublime skills, and is just the type of players fans love to see at St. James’ Park.
We hope it’s true.