Hatem Ben Arfa will only leave Newcastle United for a ‘big club’

Hatem Ben Arfa says he is happy to stay at Newcastle, unless a "big club" can convince him to leave St James' Park

alan pardew
Alan Pardew's side finished in fifth place PA Photos

alan pardew

Hatem Ben Arfa insists he will stay at Newcastle United unless a manager of a “big club” can convince the French midfielder to leave St James’ Park this summer.

The 25-year-old scored five goals in 25 Premier League appearances after the France international returned from the horror leg-break he suffered against Manchester City in October 2010, while on loan at Newcastle.

Ben Arfa’s sparkling form has sparked reports linking the former Lyon star with a transfer away from the Magpies, despite moving from Marseille to Newcastle on a four-year deal in January 2011.

However, the midfielder maintains he wants stay at the club and repay Alan Pardew after the Magpies boss kept faith in Ben Arfa during his lengthy rehabilitation – unless a manager at a “big club” can convince the Frenchman to leave.

“I’ve never felt as settled at a club as I do at Newcastle. I feel like I’m somebody important there, it’s a magnificent feeling,” Ben Arfa told L’Equipe.

“I haven’t forgotten the coach made me sign, even though I was only on loan from Marseille and I was injured.

“If I do not have a really, really serious proposal, I’ll stay. If a big club comes, but does not propose something interesting – that is to say, the coach really wants me – I’ll stay.

“If I do not feel the confidence of the [interested club’s] coach 100 per cent, I will not leave. Newcastle is a big club, even if there are bigger. I still have a three-year contract.”

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