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Ben Arfa not keen on Middle East move

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By Joe Haining

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has rejected rumours that he is to move to the Middle East, reports Sky Sports.

Hatem Ben Arfa

Qatari clubs Al Sadd and Lekhwiya are reported to have been interested in bringing the Frenchmen to the country, with money seemingly no object. However, at 27 years of age Ben Arfa is reportedly not ready to step out of the European limelight at this stage of his career.

On the rumoured move to Qatar, Ben Arfa’s agent Michel Ouazine said: “This is false. He remains on a one-year contract at Newcastle and Hatem has the intention to continue to play in Europe.”

It is unlikely though that this will be at St. James’ Park, after he fell out of favour with Magpies’ boss Alan Pardew amid questions over his attitude and a string of poor performances.

Ben Arfa was highly tipped to become the next in the line of French superstars after breaking into the Lyon first team as a precocious teenager in 2004. But his career has been dogged by controversy, marked by a string of reported angry training ground confrontations with team mates.

After two years with Olympique Marseille he joined Newcastle in 2010 for £2 million after an initial loan spell. But his stay on Tyneside has been blighted by injury and poor form. In 2013/14 he made 27 Premier League appearances, but more than half of these were from the substitutes bench.

While it seems likely that Ben Arfa will now make his exit from Newcastle, the Middle East will not be his destination.

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