HATEM Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux have been frozen out at Newcastle United – and told to train with the reserves.
Alan Pardew’s players were put through their paces yesterday on the first full day of pre-season training.
But Ben Arfa and Marveaux – who the club are looking to sell this summer – didn’t train with their senior colleagues.
Instead, the pair worked with the club’s development squad.
Fans’ favourite Ben Arfa sat out the final few weeks of last season after suffering an injury and falling out of favour, and was disciplined for holding an impromptu Press call in which he told of his “frustration” at a lack of first-team starts. The forward also claimed he wanted to stay at St James’s Park – and denied suggestions he had been a disruptive influence.
Ben Arfa, 27, has a year left on his United contract, and is available for as little as £3m.
However, Newcastle have not, as yet, received a firm bid for the club’s most gifted player.
Ben Arfa – who could lose his No 10 squad number to summer arrival Siem de Jong – remains hugely popular on Tyneside, where he has spent the last four years.
Marveaux, meanwhile, has two years left on the lucrative United deal he signed when he joined as a free agent in 2001. The 27-year-old midfielder only made a handful of appearances last season, and he has been told he doesn’t feature in Pardew’s plans.
It is unclear whether the players will travel to New Zealand next week for the club’s pre-season tour of the country, but it seems unlikely.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini – who revealed he was staying at the club in May – trained alongside de Jong and his fellow new signings Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez.
Midfielder Mehdi Abeid – who had a successful loan at Panathinaikos last season – is also back on Tyneside, as is Gabriel Obertan, whose future at Newcastle is also uncertain.
The session, which followed two days of fitness testing, was overseen by newly-appointed head of fitness Dave Billows.
Fit-again Ryan Taylor – who has been sidelined for almost two years – also took part in the session after recovering from a surgery to repair his cruciate ligament for the second time.