Sunday 23 October 2016

Nice finally sign Newcastle Ben Arfa after legal wrangle

Ben Arfa
Ben Arfa

Nice have finally got their man after announcing their first signing of the summer in Hatem Ben Arfa after the transfer window officially opened on Tuesday morning.

The 28-year-old France winger joined the Ligue 1 club in January a day after he was released from his contract with Premier League outfit Newcastle United but - due to complications regarding a playing legislation - could not don the Nice shirt last term and his contract was terminated.

Ben Arfa had been on a season-long loan at fellow English top-flight side Hull since September 2014 before he joined up with Nice four months later, but FIFA ruled the France international could not play any part for the French side as he had already been involved with a maximum two teams that term - playing in a reserves match for Newcastle and for the first team at the Tigers.

Back in January, after he was welcomed by the club's fans at Nice Massena Square, Ben Afra said: "It was perhaps only a goodbye."

Now, Nice have now completed the arrival of the player for a second time and chairman Jean-Pierre Rivere was delighted to reveal their first summer signing.

He told the club's official website ogcnice.com: "It's a gamble for us and for him.

"It regularly refers to his past, but above all I met a boy with character and with a word.

"He is not expected (to lead us) as a messiah but as an element that will integrate into our squad.

"After a period without playing, it will be complicated for him. But he has great talent, and we will do everything so he can express (himself and feel at) home."

Nice coach Claude Puel has also reached an agreement to bring Ivory Coast midfielder Jean Seri to the Allianz Riviera from Portuguese side Pacos Ferreira.

The 23-year-old has made 51 Primeira Liga appearances since moving to the club from in August 2013.

It is understood that Nice have agreed a provisional four-year contract for Seri.

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