1) Ben Arfa agent speaks out about Alan Pardew
Hatem Ben Arfa’s agent, Michel Ouazine, has spoken out about Alan Pardew’s treatment of his client over the pre-season so far.
Ben Arfa has been forced to train with the kids as Pardew does not see him as part of his first-team plans for the upcoming campaign, as the club look to force him to depart.
It is understood that the Magpies are perfectly happy to accept a cut price deal for the French winger, who they are desperate to offload, but a lack of interest from other clubs has meant that no transfer has been agreed.
Indeed, Ouazine says that Ben Arfa may just opt to stick around for a year and leave on a free – in the hope that Pardew will be sacked and that he can impress under a new management regime – although he hopes to move to Lyon.
The agent said: “Hatem doesn’t have to leave. 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 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.”
2) Spurs to beat Newcastle and Arsenal to defensive target
Tottenham Hotspur are leading to the race to sign Sporting Lisbon defender Eric Dier.
Arsenal and Newcastle United were reportedly interested in the English-born player, but he seems to be close to a move to Spurs.
The 21-year-old is reportedly available for around £4 million and Spurs have made a big matching Sporting Lisbon’s asking price, with the centre-back expected to complete a switch in the near future.
3) Sunderland set to sign Santiago Vergini
Sunderland are hoping to conclude a deal to bring Santiago Vergini to the club in the near future.
The defender played for the Black Cats last season on loan and impressed enough to try to be on Gus Poyet’s wishlist this summer.
And it appears a permanent deal could be on the verge of going through after Poyet revealed the deal for the Estudiantes player is close to taking place.
He said: “We know Santi well, and he was always one of the first choices.
"When you know a player well, you know what he is going to add to the group."
If Vergini is to sign he will be the first of four players that Poyet is hoping to capture this week as he looks to bolster his squad.
4) Gus Poyet doesn’t want Christian Atsu
Gus Poyet says that he was never close to signing Christian Atsu, despite reports linking the side with a move for the Chelsea winger.
Atsu is expected to depart Stamford Bridge on loan this season and it was thought that Sunderland were a potential destination for the Ghanian winger, but it appears that these rumours are false.
“No [on signing Atsu]. It was Marcos [Alonso] and Fabio [Borini] who were close," Poyet said.
5) Middlesbrough complete deal for Emilio Nsue
Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Spanish youth international Emilio Nsue.
The right winger was available on a free transfer this summer and Aitor Karanka has acted quickly to bring him to the Riverside Stadium.
Nsue was at Real Mallorca last season, where he obviously did enough to impress ‘Boro scouts that he would be a worthwhile addition.
The 24-year-old joins Karanka’s side having worked with his new manager before whilst with the Spanish under 21’s.