The Frenchman’s lawyer spoke about the playmaker’s recent clash with Alan Pardew and revealed that the player may utilise FIFA regulations to leave.
Appearing on the channel BeIN Sport and reported earlier by Get French Football news, the interview saw Ben Arfa’s representative vehemently defending the player against what was described as “the spreading of false information”.
Despite this, the interview did appear to suggest the former Lyon and Marseille star was already preparing for life away from St James’ Park.
“Hatem has two possibilities – either he utilises Article 17 which is a FIFA regulation allowing after three years without an alteration, for that contract to be terminated. Hatem can do that this year,” the player’s lawyer said.
The aforementioned Article 17 or the “Webster Ruling” allows any player under the age of 28 who has played out three years of his contract to effectively buy out the remaining year of his deal and leave to a club of his choosing.
Such a move would see the France international leave the club for as little as £2.5 million, though Ben Arfa’s lawyer was keen to stress this remains only one option.
“The other possibility is that he could also sort out the situation with the club , but what mustn’t happen is that Hatem is destabilised and it’s made to look like it’s him who is trying to leave Newcastle,” he added.
The player’s representative was evidently keen to point the finger of blame at Pardew for hurting “Hatem’s image” in the wake of reports detailing the manager’s recent dressing room clash with the attacker.
Ben Arfa has already been left out of the Newcastle squad travelling to London for tonight’s game with Arsenal and was recently linked with a summer move to AS Roma in Serie A.