Belfast Telegraph

Ben Arfa in line for January exit

Hatem Ben Arfa is set for a January move after finding himself unwanted at Newcastle and Hull - and in France a film is being produced about the mercurial winger.

The 27-year-old former Marseille player appears set for a January transfer after Newcastle manager Alan Pardew declared he did not want to take Ben Arfa back from his loan spell at Hull, where boss Steve Bruce has written him out of his plans.

His agent Michel Ouzaine told 20minutes.fr: "There are a lot of clubs interested in him, despite everything that has been said. He will have a new club in January, that won't be a problem, don't you worry."

A surprising development, according to the same report, is the work-in-progress that is the documentary being made about the former France international.

Film-maker Bruno Sevaistre, who produced a documentary series from 1999 to 2002 that featured the daily lives of Ben Arfa and a host of other young players at France's Clairefontaine football headquarters, has been given access to the footballer's life away from the pitch.

In the 'A la Clairefontaine' series, the teenage Ben Arfa and fellow future professional Abou Diaby were seen grappling in an angry exchange.

Sevaistre said: "I feel a little responsible for all the media exposure around Hatem and the consequence this has had on his career.

"This film, or this series - it hasn't been decided yet - is a way to redress the balance.

"We don't always see the best of Hatem. I filmed him crying with those close to him, but he is a boy who is the total opposite to his reputation. He is sensitive, serious, fragile. People don't have any idea of the obstacles he has had to overcome in his career."

Ben Arfa has played just nine times for Hull since his loan move from the Magpies and Bruce admitted on Thursday that the relationship between player and club had almost certainly run its course.

He denied media reports of a heated row with Ben Arfa, but is understood to be dismayed by the midfielder's lack of work ethic - in training and in matches.

"If he decides to stay in France that's up to him, there's only 10 days until the window opens and I think it's fair to say he's probably played his last game for Hull," said Bruce.

"He didn't deserve to be in the team on merit. It's my job to pick a team which I think will win a game on the Saturday. All this reported bust-up and the rest of it...I think you (journalists) want to make that story.

"What I've said to Ben Arfa is unfortunately I wasn't going to accept a performance like I saw from him against Manchester United. It's up to him to force himself back into the squad, that's the way it is.

"Sometimes transfers don't work, especially with a loan deal. Sometimes they can be the best thing for the player and the club. Unfortunately it hasn't worked out. I wish him the best of luck. I hope he goes on to have the career his talent deserves, that's all I've got to say on the matter."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph