Ben Arfa hints at summer move to PSG
Published 14/01/2013 | 13:29
NEWCASTLE midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has hinted he would be interested in joining Paris St Germain this summer.
It has been a frustrating time of late for the France international, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury since December 10 while his club have struggled in the Barclays Premier League.
The Magpies are currently 16th in the table, just two points above the relegation zone, and Ben Arfa is vowing to "save" the Tyneside outfit from the drop when he makes his return to action, which he expects to come in mid-February.
But he has also indicated that once the season has finished, he would be open to the prospect of moving back to his homeland with a transfer to PSG.
Ben Arfa, who was at the Parc des Princes on Friday to watch the Ligue 1 side's 0-0 draw with AC Ajaccio, was quoted by Le Parisien as saying: "After I have saved my club, you never know. Signing for PSG would be a childhood dream.
"If there is a proposal, I will study it with interest. If there is a proposal. The "if" is important.
"PSG is a club that lives in my heart. To play would be a nice gift."
Ben Arfa, a Clairefontaine graduate born in the Paris suburb of Clamart, joined Newcastle on loan from Marseille in 2010 before signing a four-and-a-half-year deal with them in January 2011.
Asked about when he might be able to make his comeback from injury, the 25-year-old said: "I should be able to resume in mid-February.
"I heal from Monday to Friday at the medical centre at Clairefontaine.
"Morale is good because I'm in Paris with family.
"But when I see the (Newcastle) games on television, it is not easy. The team needs all players and it is almost relegation."
Ben Arfa insists his main focus for now is on ensuring Newcastle do not go down.
"I am under contract with Newcastle and I'm fine," he said.
"First, I must save my club. I only think of that.
"I will help my team and my coach (manager Alan Pardew), with whom I get along great.
"We really want to fight for him. The fans are great too."
Newcastle lost a key player earlier this month in striker Demba Ba, their top scorer who joined Chelsea, and could soon see another depart, with defender and captain Fabricio Coloccini understood to be looking to return to his native Argentina for personal reasons.
The Magpies do appear to be closing in on the signing of Marseille frontman Loic Remy, though, and have already recruited his fellow France international Mathieu Debuchy from Lille.
Debuchy made his Newcastle debut in Saturday's 0-0 league draw at Norwich and Pardew is confident the full-back will soon be showing what he is all about.
"In his first 10 minutes he was a little bit starry-eyed, but then he settled down," Pardew told the Newcastle Chronicle.
"You are going to see more quality from Debuchy in home games particularly.
"He is very good offensively. We restricted his movement because it was his first game, but he will grow into that role. He will grow into the jersey."