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Hatem Ben Arfa has kicked his last ball for Newcastle United

A RARE SIGHT: Hatem Ben Arfa on the pitch in black and white stripes

A RARE SIGHT: Hatem Ben Arfa on the pitch in black and white stripes

HATEM Ben Arfa looks to have kicked his last ball for Newcastle United.

The fans’ favourite will be allowed to leave the club this summer.

Ben Arfa was exiled from the first-team squad after recovering from a dead leg late last month.

And the forward’s brief appearance against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium last month is likely to prove his last for the club he has served for the past four years.

Ben Arfa told of his “frustration” at a lack of first-team opportunities in a press call arranged without the consent of the club late last month. The France international could be available for as little as £3million given that he has only a year left on his contract.

United manager Alan Pardew has refused to talk directly about Ben Arfa’s situation in recent weeks. He again left the talented forward out of his squad for Sunday’s final game of the Premier League season against Liverpool at Anfield, where his name was chanted by fans.

Asked about Ben Arfa’s future, Pardew said: “I’ll stick by the disciplines of this team. That team (against Liverpool) was desperate to win for Newcastle.”

Pardew had previously talked about the need for Ben Arfa, arguably the most gifted player on the books, to work harder and add a “consistency” to his game.

Ben Arfa, lacking form and fitness, spent much of the season on the fringes, but he told journalists he wanted to stay and prove himself to Pardew.

“If the manager says to me he doesn’t believe in me for next season, I respect that, but I want to stay,” said Ben Arfa. “But if the president (Mike Ashley) wants to sell me, I have to go.

“I want to stay here even if the manager doesn’t believe in me, because I will show him I can play here.”

Ben Arfa also denied suggestions he had been a disruptive influence behind the scenes.

The future of Ben Arfa is one matter likely to be discussed over the coming days by Pardew, United owner Mike Ashley and new managing director Lee Charnley, who are plotting United’s summer transfer business.

Ben Arfa, also in the cold at international level, could yet opt to see out the last year of his contract.

However, having talked about his keenness to play, the odds are still on Ben Arfa moving on in this summer’s transfer window.

Meanwhile, Loic Remy, Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko will be named in France coach Didier Deschamps’s 30-man preliminary World Cup squad.

Ben Arfa hasn’t played for his country since the appointment of Deschamps, who he fell out with at Marseille before moving to Newcastle, initially on loan, in 2010.

 

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