• Premier League

Ben Arfa 'may outstay Pardew' at Newcastle

ESPN staff
August 1, 2014
Hatem Ben Arfa joined Newcastle United from Marseille in 2011 © Getty Images

Hatem Ben Arfa has endured an "unfair and humiliating" summer at Newcastle but may outstay manager Alan Pardew, according to his agent.

Ben Arfa has been training with the club's reserve team this summer and was not part of their tour of New Zealand after being fined £1,600 for reportedly returning to training 1.5 kg overweight.

"It's unfair and humiliating," said Michel Ouazine, the player's agent. "We will challenge the fine. We asked Newcastle to give us the player's physical records.

"Hatem went on vacation with a personal trainer, he has worked to prepare for this season. That 1.5 kg? Yes, it is a pound of muscle and 500 grams of fat.

"He lost two percent body fat. We therefore challenge the fine."

Ouazine conceded he was unsure as to why the relationship between Ben Arfa and Pardew had broken down towards the end of last season, admitting a solution may not be possible for the player to remain at the club.

"We don't know what the problem is," admitted Ouazine. "Pardew in the past has said Hatem was extraordinary.

"Hatem has done everything for Newcastle, every effort has been made to discuss the problem. We are in a situation where there doesn't seem to be a solution.

"He is simply doing his job: he trains well, he enjoys training with the reserves where he has a great coach in Peter Beardsley."

Ben Arfa signed from Marseille in 2011 after an impressive loan spell but his contract expires at the end of next season. Nevertheless, Ouazine believes a move away could prove difficult due to Newcastle's £12 million valuation.

"Hatem doesn't have to leave," said Ouazine. "He can go on a free after his contract is over - six months, or a year, this is not a problem. Who knows how long Pardew will be at Newcastle. In two months, he may not be here. Hatem love this club, he is idolised by fans.

"Hatem will remain professional and is working hard. He prefers a return to Lyon, but it is not economically feasible. Lyon is his first club, so there is a level of attachment. He loves Bernard Lacombe [Lyon advisor].

"However, for me, it is very difficult financially - Newcastle want a lot of money for Hatem."

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