Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has played down reports of a rift with Hatem Ben Arfa.

The France international has been a peripheral figure for much of the season, to the disapproval of many fans, although he has rarely produced when given his chance.

He was reportedly involved in a frank exchange of views with Pardew after the 4-0 home defeat by Manchester United on April 5, although the older man was relaxed when asked about the incident.

He said: "There are certain times when you talk to players and you want more and players want more of you as the manager, so those discussions go on on a daily basis with all the players, not just Hatem."

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