Marseilles midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa said yesterday that he will never play for the club again as he tries to engineer a move to Newcastle. The French international has attracted the interest of the newly promoted Magpies and is determined to ensure his move to St James' Park is secured.
The 23-year-old refused to train over the past few days and was dropped for the French side's 3-2 Ligue 1 defeat to Valenciennes on Saturday. "I will not go back to Marseilles," declared Ben Arfa. "It's over. I am ready to not play this season [for Marseilles]."
And he hopes the north of England will be his next destination. "Newcastle have committed themselves to give Marseilles what they were asking for, which is a loan with an option to buy," he added.
The Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, has conceded that Craig Bellamy may move to Craven Cottage rather than sign for him at White Hart Lane. The forward looks set to leave Manchester City and has been monitored by Spurs. But Redknapp thinks Mark Hughes, who worked with the Welshman at Eastlands, will land the 31-year-old.
"He's never going to come here on loan," said the Spurs manager. "I would think Fulham are favourites now."