Report: Ex-Hull City and Newcastle United flop Hatem Ben Arfa wanted by Barcelona

Barcelona V Madrid

Hatem Ben Arfa, who has had a scintillating season with Nice in Ligue 1, has reportedly caught the attention of the Catalan giants

A year is a long time in football, and so it has proved for former Hull City and Newcastle United flop Hatem Ben Arfa, who could be on his way to Barcelona this summer.

According to L’Equipe, the man who couldn’t cut it on Humberside may well find himself deputising for one of the world’s finest strike forces: Messi, Neymar and Suarez.

Ben Arfa is said to have travelled to Catalonia on Sunday to meet Barcelona representatives to discuss a potential move, with Éric Abidal also thought to be important in bringing the parties together.

Barcelona are said to be on the look-out to add depth to their squad, a factor they cite as being key to their surprising drop in form in early April, where they failed to win in four consecutive league games, and were dumped out of the Champions League.

Ben Arfa has been outstanding since signing for Nice, and has been arguably one of the best players in the French top flight this season, scoring an impressive 17 goals in just 32 appearances, as well as making five assists.

He joined Nice in January 2015 after an acrimonious spell in England, where, after promising start, he found himself rejected by then struggling Hull City.

Having found himself on the fringes at Newcastle after excelling in his first two seasons, he was cast out by Tigers boss Steve Bruce who took issue with his poor work rate after he joined the club on loan. He only made five appearances for Hull, before having the loan deal and his Newcastle contract terminated in the New Year.

Ben Arfa signed a one year deal with Les Aiglons, and now that is contract is set to run out, many of the world’s footballing elite are said to be circling the attacking midfielder, including the likes of PSG and AC Milan.

But it seems the man who once couldn’t cut at Humberside or Tyneside may well find himself at the Nou Camp next season. An incredible turnaround.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch