Hatem Ben Arfa (Joe.co.uk)
Paris – Barcelona are ‘in talks’ with France winger Hatem Ben Arfa, the president of his current club Nice confirmed to local media on Friday.
“Barcelona are one of a number of clubs who have enquired about Hatem,” Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere told television station France 3, confirming reports in sports daily L’Equipe that said a move to the Camp Nou was “very probable”.
“Quite honestly, if (a transfer) were to happen, I would be very, very happy for Hatem who deserves to go to a club like Barca.
“But it is not done yet from what Hatem has said. They are in talks as are other clubs.”
The 29-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the season and has successfully relaunched his career at Nice, his 17 league goals having the Cote d’Azur club on course to qualify for Europe.
Ben Arfa, who also won a recall to the France squad earlier this season, is likely to make his final home appearance as a Nice player in Saturday’s game against Saint-Etienne.
The former Lyon and Marseille player’s renaissance this season has come after he spent the first six months of 2015 without a club having had a loan spell at English Premier League side Hull City cut short before being released by Newcastle United.
He is on a four-man shortlist for France’s player of the year award alongside Paris Saint-Germain duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Angel Di Maria and Marseille midfielder Lassana Diarra.
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