Newcastle hope to have Ben Arfa ready for Villa

Newcastle United hope to close a deal for Hatem Ben Arfa in time for their clash with Aston Villa.

Newcastle United hope to close a deal for Hatem Ben Arfa in time for their clash with Aston Villa.

The Sunday Mirror says Ben Arfa, who scored his first goal for France in the midweek win over Norway, flew in for talks over the weekend with the Magpies after a spectacular public bust-up with Marseille’s top officials that has led to him going on strike.

At one stage Newcastle hoped they could wrap up the deal before tomorrow’s Premier League opener at Manchester United, but Ben Arfa’s sensational walk-out at the Stade Veledrome has caused complications.

Ben Arfa’s representatives have accused Ligue 1 champions Marseille of dragging their heels over a season-long loan deal which has the option for a £5million permanent move. The deal for 23-year-old Ben Arfa would cost Newcastle more than £2m – about £750,000 for a loan fee and up to £1.5m in wages.

Newcastle have maintained a diplomatic silence over the row and are quietly confident they will get their man in time for the Villa game.

And that view is backed by Ben Arfa’s lawyer Jean-Jacques Bertrand, who said: ­“Newcastle accepted all of the conditions that Marseille asked of them.”

 
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