Hatem Ben Arfa will leave Nice this summer – and could be on his way back to the Premier League.
The former Newcastle winger’s contract with Nice expires at the end of this month and he has been courted by a number of European clubs after an impressive season in France.
The 29-year-old was always thought to be heading out of the Allianz Riviera after scoring 18 goals in Ligue 1 and making France’s reserve list for the European Championship on home soil.
Last month the France playmaker said he had narrowed his choice of next season’s employers down to three while, at that stage, Nice had not given up hope of persuading him to extend his stay on the French Riviera.
However, speaking to Canal Plus, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere appeared to accept defeat in the battle to keep his prize asset.
“Hatem Ben Arfa will not be in Nice next season,” he was quoted as saying by Canal Plus’ Twitter account.
Ben Arfa, who has 15 international caps to his name, has most recently been linked with moves to Sevilla and Southampton, while his first club Lyon have made him an offer.
And last night, Premier League champions Leicester City were linked with a surprise move for the enigmatic star.
Meanwhile, Ivory Coast striker Seydou Doumbia has joined FC Basel on a season-long loan from Roma, the Serie A side has confirmed.
The 28-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle, but made just three substitute appearances as the Magpies were relegated from the Premier League.