If only one thing in life is a certainty this January, it will be that Newcastle United forward, Hatem Ben Arfa, will sign for his fifth club. His loan spell at Hull City couldn’t have gone any worse and now the 27-year-old is trying to negotiate a release from his contract so he can sign on a free for the rest of the season.
The clear favourite to sign the former France international over the past few days has been OGC Nice, but now it seems, according to French newspaper L’Equipe, that German club Hamburg SV have thrown their hat into the mix and are set to meet with the player and his agent on Sunday.
Ben Arfa has spent the last three weeks in Paris with a personal trainer, trying to stay as fit as possible while talking to interested clubs.
In recent days he has had multiple phone conversations with Nice boss Claude Puel, and although the conversations have gone well, nothing has been agreed, especially with six months still left on his contract at Newcastle.
As well as speaking to Nice, Ben Arfa will continue his conversation with Newcastle United, trying to negotiate a release from the North East club, as it is unlikely that either Hamburg or Nice will be interested in the playmaker, if they have to pay any sort of transfer fee.
Failure to work out an agreement between both parties would not see Ben Arfa return to Alan Pardew’s side, rather he would remain absent from the English club and kick up a fuss so to be let go – similar to what he did at both Lyon and Marseille before moving to the Premier League.
Both Nice and Hamburg are far from out of danger in their own domestic competitions. Hamburg is 14th in the Bundesliga, Nice are 11th in Ligue 1, but only three points off the relegation zone. Any move for Ben Arfa could make or break their seasons. There is no doubt he has the ability to pull you away from the drop zone, or affect you enough that you hurtle towards it.
Nice could be saved by the fact that Hamburg can offer Ben Arfa the same salary he receives at Newcastle United. With meetings set for tomorrow, we could know very soon as to the next destination for the troublesome playmaker.