Newcastle terminate Hatem Ben Arfa’s contract

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Newcastle United have cancelled former France winger Hatem Ben Arfa’s contract with immediate effect.

The 27-year-old is poised to join Nice on a short-term contract.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Newcastle United can today confirm that Hatem Ben Arfa and the club have reached an agreement to terminate the contract between both parties with immediate effect by mutual consent. Newcastle United wishes Hatem all the best for his future.”

Ben Arfa joined Newcastle from Marseille in 2010, initially on loan before signing permanently the following summer despite an injury-ruined first season in England.

He became a fans’ favourite after a string of spectacular goals and inspirational performances in 2012 and continued to show flashes of his best form.

But his attitude and fitness came under question and he joined Hull on loan in September of this season.

But he was scheduled to return to training on Tyneside this week after Tigers manager Steve Bruce decided to terminate his loan period on Humberside.

Despite lauding the player’s qualities on his arrival back in August, Bruce soon fell out with Ben Arfa, who made just eight appearances for City and has been training on his own in France in order to maintain his fitness.

Nice are 11th in Ligue 1, just three points off the relegation places. Barring any unforeseen hitches, the deal should be confirmed after a medical this week.

A Nice statement last week read: “We have reached an agreement in principle with Hatem Ben Arfa. The France international will have a medical on Monday prior to signing with Le Gym.”