Many Newcastle fans will know Ligue 2’s Le Havre as the club where Newcastle had a protracted compensation battle with over French midfielder Charles N’Zogbia in 2004.
It was eventually ruled that Newcastle would have to pay Le Havre £250k as compensation for the Academy product. It is also the club where Manchester United initially signed midfielder Paul Pogba from in 2009.
There is a report in Get French Football News that Le Havre have been in talks with former Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.
The report has comments made by Le Havre president Vincent Volpe, who had this to say about the 32-year-old Frenchman:
“We have thought about him. I have had contacts with him… He wanted to quit France. I did not share his opinion in that regard… he loves Paul Le Guen and the feeling is mutual.
“It is not impossible that he continues to play in France, even in Ligue 2 with us… I must admit that it is more difficult now, as the season is passing by. There are contacts, there have been contacts. I have respect for him and I like him a lot.”
Le Havre is coached by former French international defender Paul Le Guen who joined the club this summer. Le Guen also played for and managed Paris Saint-Germain during his career.
Ben Arfa remains a free agent after his contract with Rennes ran out in the summer. He has been unsuccessful in his pursuit of a new club so far.
Hatem issued a strange statement in early September explaining his reasons for not agreeing to any offers that were proposed to him. This is what he put on Instagram at the time:
“No challenge that has been proposed to me has excited me.
“It’s like with a woman if she does not excite you, skip it my brother”
Unless he’s had a massive change of heart, we just can’t see him dropping to Ligue 2 to play for Le Havre. Though we would really be impressed with the Frenchman if he did.