Richard Keys makes claims about Newcastle United’s Ben Arfa

Andy Gray Richard Keys

The former Sky Sports presenter has shed light on the existing issues between Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew and player Hatem Ben Arfa.

Controversial media pundit Richard Keys has weighed into the debate surrounding Newcastle United and the future of midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.

The Frenchman has been the subject of intense media speculation surrounding his future at the club in the past week after being left out of the squad for the Toon’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates on Monday.

Reports suggested that the player had been told to stay away from the squad, after it was rumoured that the he was involved in a dressing room bust-up with manager Alan Pardew.

Ben Arfa’s lawyer eventually weighed into the row, appearing on TV to point the finger of blame at Pardew for marginalising his client and claiming that the Frenchman was weighing up whether to buy out the remaining year of his contract and depart the club.

AS Roma are thought to be keen on the former Marseille man, with the Serie A side rumoured to be preparing a bid for the 27-year-old.

But if the Italians are to move for Ben Arfa, they may wish to heed the warnings of Keys, who took to Twitter to claim that the trouble surrounding the Frenchman centred on an incident in which the player physically attacked Pardew.

He tweeted: “Heard Ben Arfa chinned Pardew. If that's the case one or the other will have to go.”

If there is any truth to the rumours, then the Frenchman’s tenure at the club could soon be over, with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley continuing to back the former West Ham United manager in the Magpies hotseat.

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