Ben Arfa vows to stay at Newcastle

Hatem Ben Arfa has vowed to stay at Newcastle amid reports that he could be on his way to Liverpool, reports The Sun.

The news will come as a welcome pre-derby boost to the Magpies ahead of the visit of North East rivals Sunderland at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

It had been reported that Ben Arfa may have been on his way to Anfield as part of a swap deal to take Kop striker Andy Carroll back to his hometown club.

The 26-year-old, however, refuted such claims and insisted he is happy at the Toon.

He said: “I want to stay here. My agent and I have not talked about a move. I am focused on Newcastle and 100 per cent on Newcastle. I hope to stay.”

The former Marseille player has been absent from the first team recently, having suffered a hamstring problem which at one stage looked set to rule him out for the rest of the campaign.

He returned to the side for a half hour appearance during the club’s Europa League exit against Benfica, which marked only his second appearance of the year.

He hopes to thank the Geordie faithful for sticking by him during this testing year so far by giving them something to smile about during Sunday’s derby with the Black Cats.

He said: “It has been a difficult period. It has taken quite a while to get back to full fitness, but that is normal. I am completely over all of this now.

“I am 100 per cent OK and looking forward to playing in the rest of the season. Hopefully, I can have a good game and make the fans really happy. The supporters have stuck with me through some difficult times, and it would be nice to repay them.

“Sunday is a very good opportunity for me to do that.”

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