Arsenal and Chelsea chase Ben Arfa

Arsenal and Chelsea are both interested in signing Newcastle United’s France international Hatem Ben Arfa, with the Gunners said to be confident the midfielder would prefer a move to the Emirates Stadium over Stamford Bridge because he would be more certain to play regularly under Arsene Wenger, the Daily Mirror has reported.

While it is far from certain Newcastle would be willing to sell Ben Arfa, if the Magpies were to be tempted into a transfer, the Mirror feels Arsenal is a more likely destination than Chelsea. The Blues have already signed Lille’s Eden Hazard and Germany international Marko Marin, who each play in a similar position to Ben Arfa’s favoured role, and already have Juan Mata and Frank Lampard on their books.

Arsenal, by contrast, have far fewer options in Ben Arfa’s preferred attacking midfield berth, particularly after Yossi Benayoun’s loan spell ended and he returned to Chelsea. Wenger’s main aim so far this summer has been to bolster his options in the striker’s position, with Lukas Podolski already confirmed as moving to the club and Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud expected to follow suit.

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