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Olympique De Marseille Reject Everton Approach For Hatem Ben Arfa – Report

Ligue 1 giants Olympique de Marseille have signalled their desire to keep enigmatic young winger Hatem Ben Arfa on their books by rejecting an approach from Everton, according to the website of local paper La Provence.

Ben Arfa joined OM from Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2008, but has failed to secure a regular berth at the Stade Velodrome, a plight hampered by injury and inconsistency, which have been mixed with a somewhat questionable attitude. Once rated as one of the hottest properties in France, he is now considered something of an 'enfant terrible', though there appears to remain a belief in Provence that the 22-year-old Clairefontaine graduate can yet establish himself as a major force in their side.

Reports linking Ben Arfa with a switch away from OM this January have been frequent, though with les Phoceens presently doing battle on four fronts and depleted because of the African Cup of Nations, Didier Deschamps’ men appear likely to follow a prudent path and maintain the France international at least until the summer.

President Jean-Claude Dassier affirmed such suspicions last week and the suggestion that he has turned away an offer from Premier League outfit Everton does indeed seem plausible. Previously Dassier indicated he would only allow Ben Arfa to leave if a huge bid arrived on his table.

Given Ben Arfa’s form in the 2-0 Coupe de France win on Sunday, it is likely that the mercurial talent will be handed a first team run at least until the end of the month, making a move away harder to negotiate.

Robin Bairner,