HATEM Ben Arfa says he agreed to rip up his Newcastle United contract – so he could have “fun” on the French Riviera.
Ben Arfa this week joined Nice after his ill-fated loan at Hull City was ended early.
The 27-year-old’s contract at Newcastle, which had six months left to run, had been terminated “by mutual consent” last week.
Ben Arfa – who had spent four and a half years at St James’s Park – claimed he would have rejected Real Madrid had they come calling at the 11th hour, such was his keenness to sign for Nice.
“In 10 minutes, my choice was made,” said Ben Arfa. “Even if Real Madrid had come, I said yes to Nice.”
“(Nice coach) Claude Puel is a person of integrity, with true human values. His speech I liked immediately.
“Nice will be the perfect place to grow. They have a history. This club built something.
“It’s leaders are ambitions. It is very good for me.
“Nice are a club with a big identity. I want to have fun.”