Newcastle

Ben Arfa content at Newcastle until ‘big club’ comes in

Hatem Ben Arfa says he is happy to stay at Newcastle United but would consider leaving St James’ Park should a ‘bigger club’ come calling.

The 25-year-old winger was proved an instrumental figure for the Magpies during the second half of the season as they finished fifth in the Premier League and qualified for the Europa League.

His performances didn’t go unnoticed with Laurent Blanc calling him up to the France squad for Euro 2012 capping a remarkable turnaround for Ben Arfa.

A double leg fracture suffered against Manchester City in October 2010 kept him out action for almost a year just three months after he joined the club on loan from Marseille.

He was persuaded him to make his stay on Tyneside a permanent one in January 2011 by manager Alan Pardew who he stats has made him feel ‘like somebody important’.

And the Frenchman also believes he has found his home in football and is eager repay the Newcastle supporters for their support during his injury lay-off and that of Pardew declaring that he won’t leave unless another club gave him ‘100 per cent confidence’.

“I’ve never felt as settled at a club as I do at Newcastle. I feel like I’m somebody important there, it’s a magnificent feeling,” Ben Arfa told L’Equipe.

“I haven’t forgotten the coach made me sign, even though I was only on loan from Marseille and I was injured.

“If I do not have a really, really serious proposal, I’ll stay. If a big club comes, but does not propose something interesting – that is to say, the coach really wants me – I’ll stay,” Ben Arfa added.

“If I do not feel the confidence of the [interested club’s] coach 100 per cent, I will not leave. Newcastle is a big club, even if there are bigger. I still have a three-year contract”

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