‘I want to stay here’ – Ben Arfa dismisses Newcastle exit claims

The former Marseille attacker is only focussed on his current club, and has backed the side to return to Europe in the future after a disappointing campaign this year
Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa has committed his future to the club following speculation linking him with a move away from St James’ Park.

The France international’s season has been disrupted by a series of hamstring injuries but the winger made a return to the squad as a second-half substitute during Thursday’s Europa League tie with Benfica.

And the 26-year-old attcker is adamant that he is still happy at Newcastle, dismissing rumours that he could leave the club in the summer.

“I want to stay here,” Ben Arfa told The Evening Chronicle. “It is only journalists who talk about that [leaving Newcastle].

“Me and my agent have not talked about that. I am focused on Newcastle and 100% Newcastle. I hope to stay here.”

With Newcastle sitting just five points above the relegation zone and having crashed out of the Europa League, they won’t be featuring in Europe next year.

But Ben Arfa is eager to compete on the continent in the future, and has backed the Toon’s “great team” to secure qualification next season.

"We have a great team. I'd love to play for this team in Europe again,” continued Ben Arfa.

“We won't next season but after that we can maybe go again. Everything is here. It is a great club. We have a great squad, big ground and great fans.”