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Ex-Newcastle winger Ben Arfa signs with Nice…even if Real Madrid had have called!

Hatem Ben Arfa has signed a deal with French Ligue 1 club OGC Nice.

The 27-year old winger has returned to his homeland after having his contract with Newcastle United terminated following an unsuccessful loan spell with Hull City.

Ben Arfa has penned an 18-month deal with Nice and told L'Equipe that he had his mind set on signing with the coastal club, even if a bigger team came calling late.

"I also spoke to the coach (Claude Puel), I liked his integrity and his approach to football and within 10 minutes, my choice was made," he said.

"Even if Real Madrid had called at that moment, my mind was made up!

"There are people here who trust me, who do not judge me as some people want to judge me through the press.

"I wanted to return to France, where I grew up. At Nice, I think I can express myself. I am coming here to enjoy myself, to help the club improve with my qualities, and to win."

Former Lyon and Marseille ace Ben Arfa returns to France's top division after four-and-a-half years in England where he made a total of 86 appearances for the Magpies, scoring 14 goals, and nine outings for the Tigers.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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