As the Newcastle United squad return to Benton for pre-season training, manager Alan Pardew has a dilemma on his hands.

Hatem Ben Arfa has been put up for sale by the Magpies but there have been no suitable offers for the Frenchman, who continues to cause conflict in the camp.

The former Marseille winger was part of at least two major bust-ups with Pardew and fellow team-mates last season and as a result, the Newcastle manager is keen to offload the enigmatic midfielder.

Now Pardew must decide whether to continue to try and find a new home for the Frenchman or attempt to reintegrate him into a squad where he is a less than popular member.

Siem de Jong – Newcastle’s latest summer signing from Ajax – is set to be given Ben Arfa’s number 10 shirt, a clear sign that the winger’s time is up at St James’ Park.

One possible solution is to loan Ben Arfa to a new club, although with only one year left on his contract that would open up the chance of the 26-year-old moving on from Newcastle on a free in a year’s time.

And with Ben Arfa’s attitude hardly helping the squad going into the new season, any attempt to get him back into the first-team picture may also be tricky.

Another possible outcome is to include him as a makeweight in a deal for a new player this summer, driving the transfer fee for the incoming man down.

Whatever happens, Pardew will have to manage the situation carefully to give his squad the maximum chance to succeed in the new season.


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  1. swamproker

    Id rather get rid of Pardew!!!!! And who says H B A is still causing fiction within the squad!!!! Probably Pardew whose inability to man manage anyone that's got natural talent has been there all season with his mind boggling so called tactics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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