Hatem Ben Arfa has reportedly rejected the opportunity to join Birmingham City on loan for the remainder of the season.
The France international is well out of favour at Newcastle United, having had a disagreement with manager Alan Pardew towards the end of last season. Indeed, he was even stripped of his number 10 squad number ahead of the current campaign, with summer arrival Siem de Jong given the jersey and the former Lyon ace handed the number 26.
Ben Arfa, who made 27 appearances in the Premier League last season, has not featured for the Magpies this, and was not even involved in their League Cup win over League One side Gillingham last week. Pardew is prepared to offload the talented playmaker before the window closes, and Birmingham are keen to take him on loan.
Although bolster his defence is his key priority on deadline day, Blues boss Lee Clark was hoping the addition of Ben Arfa would provide them with some creative spark. Speaking at the weekend, he said: “He’s obviously a Newcastle United player and there’s a situation up there with him not being in the team. But I don’t want to talk about any other teams’ players. If anything was to happen we will let you know.”
However, the 27-year-old, who wasn’t included in Didier Deschamps France squad for the World Cup Finals, is reluctant to drop down into the second-tier of English football according to Sky Sports. Whilst it is thought he is open to remaining in the Premier League, he is also willing to return to his homeland to secure regular first team football.