New York City FC have turned down the chance to sign Hatem Ben Arfa, according to the Daily Mail.
The Frenchman signed an 18-month deal with the Ligue 1 club after Newcastle United terminated his contract last month, but was denied clearance having appeared in competitive games for two teams – the Magpies and Hull on loan – this season.
Nice contested the ruling on the basis that his lone Newcastle outing had come for the reserve side, but FIFA regulations regard “under-21 professional development league” matches as competitive fixtures.
Unable to see a minute of European action until the 2015-16 season, MLS would offer the polarising midfielder a stop-gap option, however, with the league’s summer calendar falling outside FIFA’s single-season purview, rendering the two-team rule irrelevant.
His representatives are said to have contacted NYCFC as a result in an attempt to broker a move, but head coach Jason Kreis opted against a deal.
A meticulous manager, who preached discipline during his team in charge of Real Salt Lake between 2007 and 2013, it’s perhaps no surprise that the former US international would not be too keen on a maverick talent like Ben Arfa
After refuting retirement rumours earlier this week, it remains to be seen where the ex-Toon ace goes from here now, having declared at his press conference earlier this week that he wouldn't even discount the North Pole as an option.
Nevertheless, at this point it seems doubtful that he will ever be able to replicate the form which once had former Lyon teammate Juninho Pernambucano declaring that he expected him to go on to star for either Real Madrid or Barcelona.