Marseille president pushing Ben Arfa away from Newcastle

Olympique Marseille are threatening to steer Hatem Ben Arfa away from Newcastle United.

The Magpies have been tracking the France international for some time and had hoped to put a loan agreement in place.

However, Marseille are keen to strike a permanent deal, with Ben Arfa having made it clear that he no longer wishes to play for the club.

Newcastle have yet to reply to the latest demands of the Ligue 1 champions, and that delay may have opened the door to other suitors.

Among those ready to pounce are German giants Werder Bremen, who are looking to find a suitable replacement for the Real Madrid-bound Mesut Ozil.

"If Ben Arfa and his agents are happy to do that, that would be no trouble to us," Marseille chairman Jean-Claude Dassier told L'Equipe on Bremen's interest.

"We even believe that the German league would be better suited to him than the English league."