Marseille man heads to St James’ Park.
L’Equipe is reporting that Newcastle are about to complete the signing of French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa on a season-long loan from Marseille, with an option to purchase the player for between $6-7 million dollars if he makes at least 25 first team appearances.
The 23 year old joined Marseille from Lyon in 2008 for $14 million, making 63 first team appearances to date. Ben Arfa has been looking for a move away from Marseille during this transfer window, with a move to the Premier League always looking the most likely destination.
The young midfielder has scored two goals in 8 appearances for the French senior national team.
Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier confirmed that the club have agreed a deal with Newcastle and the midfielder will travel to Newcastle.
“He will travel to Newcastle tomorrow,” said Dassier. “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. (World Soccer Reader)
This is a damn good bit of news for Newcastle United fans. Hatem Ben Arfa is a top notch performer and more importantly he is out to prove his doubters wrong. The 23 year old has fallen out with Marseille boss Didier Deschamps and subsequently threatened to go on strike if not given a chance to leave the Ligue 1 champions, something that was initially blocked by the French club.
The talented attacker will add natural width on the left to help balance out the impressive work done by Wayne Routledge on the right, but one wonders how Chris Hughton will then accommodate the impressive Jonas Guttierez? Ben Arfa can also play in the hole behind the strikers so perhaps this is where he will be used at St’ James Park?