Hatem Ben Arfa to stay in Newcastle

READY OR NOT ... Hatem Ben Arfa is battling to be fit for the start of the season.

READY OR NOT ... Hatem Ben Arfa is battling to be fit for the start of the season.

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HATEM Ben Arfa is back on Tyneside after his summer holidays - but he won’t join his Newcastle United team-mates in Portugal.

Ben Arfa had been due to link up with the squad on the Algarve.

However, the Gazette understands the forward will now work at the club’s Benton training ground ahead of his colleagues’ return in the middle of next week.

United manager Alan Pardew had hoped Ben Arfa would fly to Portugal, where United will train after their involvement in the Torneo Guadiana.

Ben Arfa’s French countryman Yohan Cabaye could come off the bench against Braga at the Algarve Stadium on Saturday night.

Cabaye returned to training this week and Pardew will make a late decision on his involvement.

“I might give Yohan 10 minutes,” said Pardew. “It depends on the mood of the game.

“If it’s a calm game, I’ll stick him out there, but he doesn’t really need it. He’s as fit as he could be. It’s just about letting him have a little taste.”

Meanwhile, the hip injury suffered by midfielder Dan Gosling in last night’s draw against Olympiakos was today being assessed by the club’s medical staff.

Gosling had looked bright until his withdrawal.

“It was a shame for Dan,” said Pardew. “He got a little twist in his hip.

“He thought he could play his way through it, but he couldn’t. We’ll have to wait and see.”