Sources in France are suggesting that Newcastle United are moving very close to a permanent deal to sign 23 year old French International Ben Arfa.
Hatem Ben Arfa – close to permanent Newcastle deal?
The news is that new manager Alan Pardew is close to making his very first signing for the Newcastle club, as the reports in France say the new manager is close to tying up Hatem Ben Arfa on a permanent deal on Tyneside.
That’s great news if it’s true – and only yesterday Alan was saying he was first going to ensure the top players at Newcastle were secured, before he looked to bring in any new players to the squad next month.
What we do know for sure is that earlier this week Ben Arfa said his responsibility was to the Newcastle United club, and not to any one manager, and that of course that followed the surprise firing of Chris Hughton by owner Mike Ashley.
Newcastle fans had been a little concerned, with Chris leaving, that it may have put the Ben Arfa potential permanent deal in danger, but that appears not to be true.
And Alan Pardew called Ben Arfa soon after he arrived on Tyneside, and told him, apparently in no uncertain terms, that he wanted the Frenchman part of the Newcastle set-up on a permanent basis, and even discussed playing the Frenchman in the center of the park at Newcastle.
There’s no doubt that Hatem Ben Arfa will be keen to come to Newcastle United on a permanent basis, although it will be a little bit of a surprise if Newcastle sign him in January, before his double fracture of his lower left leg, which he suffered in early October, has fully healed.
Ben Arfa is now in the south of France at a rehabilitation center, and apparently is well ahead of schedule in his recovery, and could return to training in early February.
We’re not sure what the financials of the deal will be, but some reports in the summer suggested that Newcastle would pay £2M for the season-long loan move, and then an extra £5M to secure him on a permanent basis, if they took up that option in the loan contract.
But with Ben Arfa being out injured since early October, and Newcastle presumably moving to now sign the player permanently in January, it could be less than £7M – but that would still be a great deal for Newcastle for a fantastic player – who presumably only wants to play for Newcastle.
If this news is true, it seems that Newcastle have made yet another terrific signing – and secured a world class player for what amounts to peanuts.
We now have to hope this news is all true, and of course Ben Arfa is already a darling of the Newcastle fans, and his signing would be welcomed with tremendous excitement by the Geordie faithful.
And now we must win our home game on Sunday afternoon against money-bags Man City to end what will have been a great Christmas for the club. 😀
And apparently that game is already a sell-out.
Howay The Lads!!