Ben Arfa is expected to be in Newcastle today, and may even eventually sign for the Newcastle club, after an on- again off-again saga that would have graced Hollywood this summer.
Ben Arfa – expected on Tyneside today
But don’t expect Newcastle to say anything at all, until the player is signed, and everything is completely wrapped up with the deal.
The transfer strategy at Newcastle is to say nothing on anything, until the deal is done, and we applaud that, and it means things are possible in the transfer market without letting other clubs know too much about what is going on.
That’s a lot different to when Graeme Souness used to tell the press everything he was doing and even thinking in the transfer market, and it’s much more productive for the club too, if a little frustrating for the gossip press.
Marseilles President Jean-Claude Dassier is not so silent of course, and last night confirmed they have agreed a deal with Newcastle for Ben Arfa, with the winger due to fly in for talks.
Dassier said last night:
“He will travel to Newcastle tomorrow,” “They have offered to raise the price for the option-to-buy if Hatem plays 25 matches, and also pay the five per cent of the cost to FIFA.”
“We will respond.” “After that it’s up to Hatem to agree a deal.” “We have to finish this story as soon as possible.”
We’ve thought this one was done and dusted before, so we’ll have to see that this time it comes to a successful conclusion.
Of course one issue that has been raised are the wage demands of the player – so we suppose it’s possible for everything to be agreed but then for Ben Arfa to pull out, because he’s not getting the wages he wants.
We really hope that doesn’t happen.
But if the deal is done, it’s another coup for the Newcastle club in this transfer window, make no mistake about that, and it will also have been another good transfer window for the club.
So whether you love or hate Mike Ashley, the club has made some good signings during these last two transfer windows, and made some excellent deals too.
But Mike is a businessman, pure and simple, and refuses to throw money away like some clubs are doing – like Manchester City – and some, like Newcastle, have done in the past.