Report: Claude Puel wants to bring Hatem Ben Arfa to Southampton

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The French playmaker could return to England with the Saints, 18 months after his Newcastle United contract was ripped up.

Picture Supplied by Action ImagesPuel is set to take over at St. Mary's, L'Equipe reports

Claude Puel wants to bring Hatem Ben Arfa to Southampton if he's appointed at St. Mary's as expected, L'Equipe reports (via Get French Football News).

Puel is set to replace Ronald Koeman this week and could use his relationship with Ben Arfa to lure the Nice attacking midfielder back to English football.

The former OGC Nice boss has helped Ben Arfa rebuild his career on the Cote d'Azur, 18 months after his Newcastle United contract was terminated following an unsuccessful loan to Hull City.

Steven Taylor and Hatem Ben Arfa isBen Arfa's previous spell in England ended prematurely

As a result, the report claims the 29-year-old will listen to Puel's approach, with discussions set to take place on Tuesday.

Ben Arfa, whose contract expires this summer, is said to have been offered a three-year deal by Europa League winners Sevilla, while Leicester City have also made contact, according to L'Equipe.

The playmaker scored 17 goals and created a further six last season as Nice finished fourth in the standings.

Ben ArfaBen Arfa rediscovered his form under Puel

However, his form was not enough to secure him a place in Didier Deschamps' squad for Euro 2016.

Ben Arfa's capture would help fill the void left by Sadio Mane's imminent departure to Liverpool.

Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the second goal for SouthamptonSaints star Mane is Liverpool-bound, it seems

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