Newcastle United are set to offer French star Hatem Ben Arfa a new contract in a bid to ward off potential interest from Liverpool.
The talented playmaker has just under 2 years left on his deal but after a strong start to the season, which included a stunning late winner against Fulham to hand the club their first win of the season, the club want to extend his stay on Tyneside.
When fit, Ben Arfa has proved to be an influential member of the Newcastle forward line and it is believed that club owner, Mike Ashley, has taken a personal interest in agreeing a new deal the player.
Newcastle are expected to open talks with the player’s representatives in the coming weeks and are hoping to tie him down to a new four year contract that would see Ben Arfa double his wages from £40,000 to £80,000 and extend his stay by a further four years.
Liverpool will be keeping a keen eye on events in the North East and could make a move if the player shows any hesitation in signing.
The Reds, who signed Victor Moses on loan on the final day of the transfer window, are on the lookout for a new winger and missed out on deals for the likes of Willian and Christian Atsu both of whom joined Chelsea, whilst at the same time offloading Stewart Downing to West Ham and sending Oussama Assaidi out on loan to Stoke for the duration of the 2013/14 campaign.
Newcastle fans will hope the talks with Ben Arfa go better than those with Bafetimbi Gomis did.
The Lyon striker was on the brink of joining the magpies in the summer but has now admitted that a move broke down as he was unwilling to take a wage cut to join Newcastle.
The player also revealed that he received a recommendation from France manager Didier Deschamps to join the Premier league side.
“I had a talk with Newcastle’s coach and we found an agreement,” Gomis told a French TV station.
“Then, there were talks with Lyon, there was a first offer – which was refused and then a second one, which was accepted.
“Newcastle then came back to me and asked me to make an effort on wages – but I never asked anything as it was my club which wanted to transfer me, so the effort had to be made by Newcastle or Lyon.”
Newcastle will continue to monitor his form with the likelihood being that they renew their interest in January, when his valuation drops especially as the player has turned down a new contract from the club.
“Now I think after what has been said and done, it is not conceivable to talk about any prolongation,” Gomis said.