Ben Arfa’s agent hits out at Newcastle

FROZEN OUT ... Hatem Ben Arfa.
FROZEN OUT ... Hatem Ben Arfa.
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HATEM Ben Arfa’s agent says the fine the forward received for returning for pre-season overweight was “humiliating”.

In an interview given with France Football, Michel Ouazine claimed his client does not want to leave Newcastle, and suggested he may last longer than manager Alan Pardew.

Ben Arfa has been training with Newcastle’s reserves so far in pre-season after falling out of favour at the end of the last campaign.

On the fine handed to Ben Arfa, Ouazine said: “It’s harrassment, humiliation. We will challenge the fine.

“We asked them to give us the player’s physical records.

“Hatem went on vacation with a personal trainer, and worked to prepare for this season.

“That 1.5kg? It is a pound of muscle and 500g of fat. He lost two per cent body fat. We therefore challenge the fine.”

He added: “Hatem doesn’t have to leave. He is able to go after his contract is over – six months, or a year, for nothing at all.

“In two months, Pardew may not be there. Hatem loves this club, he is idolised by fans.

“Hatem remain professional and is working hard. He favours a return to Lyon, but it is not necessarily economically feasible.

“Lyon is his first club, so there is a level of attachment. He loves Bernard Lacombe.

“However, for me, it is very difficult financially – Newcastle want a lot of money for Hatem.”

He continued: “It is incomprehensible. Pardew in the past has said Hatem was extraordinary.

“Hatem has done everything for Newcastle, and we did everything to discuss (a new contract).

“We are in a situation where there doesn’t seem to be a solution.

“He is simply doing his job: he trains well, he takes pleasure training with the reserves where he has a great coach in Peter Beardsley.”