Ben Arfa completes Nice move after Newcastle release

Former France international winger Hatem Ben Arfa was unveiled as a Nice player on Monday after signing a contract until 2016.

The 27-year-old had been released by Newcastle United on Sunday having had his loan move to Hull City terminated six months early a week ago.

Nice are 11th in Ligue 1, although they sit only three points above the relegation zone and were knocked out of the French Cup by second division Valenciennes at the weekend.

Ben Arfa, who has played 13 times for France but has a bad reputation for indiscipline in his homeland, said he had “really wanted to return to France” following four and a half years in the English Premier League.

Although born in the Parisian suburbs, he began his career at Lyon before moving to Marseille.

He won the French title four times with Lyon and once with Marseille before moving to Newcastle in 2010

“We know we’ve signed a boy with history but I met someone at peace who told me about his desire to play football, to enjoy himself and to bring pleasure to us,” said Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere.

Ben Arfa fell out with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew — who has since moved to Crystal Palace — and was loaned out to Hull at the beginning of this season, only for their manager Steve Bruce to reveal that the move had not worked out due to a difference of opinion.

Ben Arfa played just eight times for Hull.


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