Newcastle United have once again found themselves all over the back pages for the wrong reasons, with the Magpies being riddled with controversy over the running of the club following the appointment of Joe Kinnear as Director of Football.
With that in mind, it has been an unsettling last few days for the Newcastle faithful, with Kinnear even chastising fans for expressing their concerns. Certainly, the club could do with a piece of good news as tensions begin to escalate.
In fact, there could be some on the way with fresh news over Ben Arfa’s future at St James’ Park, which had previously been in doubt following the emergence of various candidates for his signature and the PSG training kit debacle (which the club and Ben Arfa vehemently deny).
Ben Arfa is reportedly keen to begin discussions over a new long-term contract in the North East, with talks of a five year deal potentially coming into fruition in the not so distant future. Despite interest from the likes of Monaco and Liverpool, the Frenchman could brush said whisperings aside and aid in Newcastle’s push for a higher finish.
Another factor which may increase the chances of Ben Arfa extending his contract is if Laurent Blanc completes his switch to PSG, with the Ligue 1 champions having been strongly linked to our winger.
Blanc fell out with Ben Arfa during France’s Euro 2012 campaign, making it clear that the 26 year old won’t be a figure he’ll be enthusiastic to work with again. With that in mind, the newly affluent French outfit could be out of the running.
Admittedly, it’s difficult to determine what Ben Arfa’s intentions are at this moment in time given volatility of the stories which the tabloids spew out. What can be said is that it’s not a certainty that he’ll be packing his bags as soon as a lucrative offer comes in.
The winger reportedly took a pay cut when he made the move from Marseille to Tyneside, so a long-term future at Newcastle, despite the low wage policy inherited by the club, is a possibility.
Hatem is a player who would be integral to the process of recovery which the club must now undertake. It’s impossible to jump to conclusions, but don’t be too surprised to see him in the black and white stripes come September.