Ben Arfa agrees deal with Nice as Newcastle spell nears end
Hatem Ben Arfa is set to depart Newcastle and return to France after Nice announced a deal had been agreed in principle.
The forward has been left in limbo after the failure of a loan spell with Hull, with Tigers boss Steve Bruce cutting short his stay at the KC Stadium but Newcastle unwilling to reintegrate him into their squad.
But he has been offered a lifeline after a Nice statement announced: "OGC Nice 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."
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.
He made only a handful of appearances for the East Yorkshire club, failing to score and missing a glorious chance in their defeat to Tottenham, and he was substituted in the first half of the defeat to Manchester United.
He returns to Ligue 1, a competition he won four times as a young player with Lyon and once more with Marseille in 2010, when he also helped the club win the Coupe de la Ligue.
Nice are 11th in the table but only three points clear of the relegation zone, and will look to their new signing to spark an attack which has mustered 21 goals in 19 games this season.
Ben Arfa has won 13 caps for France since his goalscoring debut against the Faroe Islands in 2007.