Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Ben Arfa's agent rubbishes Qatar talk
HATEM BEN ARFA’S agent has rubbished speculation linking the Newcastle United winger with a possible move to Qatar.
Ben Arfa’s Tyneside future has been in doubt since he slipped down the pecking order in the second half of last season, and a number of weekend reports suggested the 27-year-old was interesting clubs in the Middle East.
Magpies manager Alan Pardew does not regard Ben Arfa as a key part of his plans for next season, and the Frenchman would be allowed to leave if an acceptable price could be agreed.
However, Ben Arfa’s representative, Michel Ouazine, has ruled out a move to Qatar and claims his client is determined to remain in Europe. Tellingly though, he failed to commit him to Newcastle as he enters the final year of his current deal.
“This is false,” said Ouazine. “He remains on a one-year contract at Newcastle and Hatem has the intention to continue to play in Europe.”
Newcastle officials have discussed a move for free agent Bafetimbi Gomis, who is being represented by agent Willie McKay as he looks to secure a transfer to the Premier League.
Suggestions of a potential £75,000-a-week deal are misguided however, as there is no chance of Mike Ashley sanctioning that kind of outlay on a 28-year-old. West Ham United and Galatasaray are also interested in Gomis, and Newcastle are adamant they will not be drawn into a bidding war for the striker.