Newcastle land French winger Ben Arfa on loan from Marseille

Newcastle have completed the signing of French winger Hatem Ben Arfa from Marseille on a season-long loan.

Newcastle have been linked with Ben Arfa for the last month, and the deal initially broke down earlier this month over the fee that they would pay Marseille to loan the 23-year-old.

That led to a complete breakdown in the relationship between Ben Arfa and the club, but despite reported interest from the likes of Liverpool and Werder Bremen, in the end, Ben Arfa received the move that he was seeking.

After the deal was sealed, the former Lyon man said to Newcastle’s official site: “It was always my first choice to come here and I’m delighted to be here.

“I’ve paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it, and particularly the supporters and I want to showcase my skills in Newcastle.

“All I’m waiting for is to show what I can do in front of the public in Newcastle. A lot of my friends in France already know the fans’ reputation. The stadium has an ambience that is unique and I feel very lucky to have his opportunity.”

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton talked up his newest arrival, saying: “Hatem is a player who we have been tracking for a long time, and what is important is that he is not only a young player who should continue to improve, but somebody who already has a great reputation in the game.

“We think he will add flair to the squad and we’re confident he’ll fit in well with the team that we have put together here. He will, I am sure, prove to be a great addition.

“He won’t be available to face Wolves at the weekend, but he’ll come into my thinking for the next game at home to Blackpool. He’s someone who will excite the fans here, who of course have always identified with skilful, attacking players.”

According to French reports, Newcastle are paying £2m up front to loan Ben Arfa, and a clause has been included that will require the Magpies to pay another £5m to buy him outright if he makes 25 appearances this season.

Ben Arfa signed for Marseille from league rivals Lyon in an €11m deal two summers ago, and in two-plus seasons, he has 15 goals in 91 appearances. Ben Arfa earned his first senior cap for France in 2007, and he has two goals in eight caps.

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