Reports in France have emerged claiming that Hatem Ben Arfa is close to joining Ligue 1 side OGC Nice. The Newcastle midfielder – currently on loan at Hull City – is badly out of favour at both his temporary club and his parent team and is set to leave St James’ Park this January, when Steve Bruce terminates the Frenchman’s loan. With six months left on his contract, Ben Arfa is free to negotiate with other clubs when the transfer window reopens on New Year’s Day. However, as the former Lyon man is badly out of favour, Alan Pardew may let his one-time star player leave Tyneside for nothing. Ben Arfa hasn’t been seen in England since being hooked in Hull’s recent defeat to Manchester United and is thought to have returned to France, where Nice have reportedly made an approach. A move back to France will be yet another chance for Ben Arfa to turn his undoubted talent into a serious career, although whoever signs the mercurial Frenchman will likely find out the reason he has been bombed out of every club he’s ever been at before too long.