A FIFA ruling prevents a player turning out for three clubs in one season, and, having played for Hull City and the Magpies’ Under-21 side, Ben Arfa would not be able to play for Nice until the start of next term. The club cancelled his contract, and he has since been on the look out for a new club - who do not comply with those rules.
As outlined last week, the 27-year-old had been approached by New York City FC, who are set to start their debut MLS season next month. Being on a different season schedule means that the American club can play Ben Arfa, and L’Equipe claim that talks were ongoing between the two parties. It is suggested in the report that the winger was looking at a move to MLS as a short term fix, before returning to Europe at the earliest opportunity to return to his top level playing career.
Although those talks have been progressing, there is no indication that a deal is close to being completed, and a new report in L’Equipe indicates that he has received another sizeable offer to return to his playing career - from China.
There is no club named, but the report claims that a deal to take him to the Chinese Super League would be easier to complete, as he would not have to sign a full contract offer to take him through from March until September - the end of the campaign. It is mooted that a short-term deal is on the table, allowing him to return to Europe before the start of the season in August.