Marseille stand firm on Newcastle's Ben Arfa bid

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The Independent Football

Marseille have confirmed Hatem Ben Arfa did not train with the squad yesterday amid rumours of a move to Newcastle, but insist the winger is not for sale.

France international Ben Arfa left the club's training ground with his advisers yesterday after meeting with club president Jean-Claude Dassier, but Dassier then told reporters he would not be selling Ben Arfa.

"Hatem is part of our squad and will remain so," he said.

"There is no serious and solid offer from Newcastle at the moment."

Dassier added that he does not expect the situation to change before the transfer window closes.

However, according to a report on L'Equipe's website, Ben Arfa failed to attend a scheduled meeting with coach Didier Deschamps this morning.

He is now expected to be fined by the club and will not feature in tomorrow's match against Valenciennes.