Ben Arfa says he will not return to Marseille

Paris: France midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa says he will not play for Olympique Marseille again and told the Ligue 1 champions to let him move to Newcastle United.

A tense standoff has developed between club and player, with Ben Arfa saying he was desperate to join English side Newcastle and Marseille insisting he was staying.

Ben Arfa missed training for two days in a row and was dropped by Marseille coach Didier Deschamps for a Ligue 1 match at Valenciennes, where the champions lost 3-2.

"I will not go back to the Commanderie (Marseille`s training base)," Ben Arfa told French sports daily L`Equipe on Sunday. "It`s over. I`m ready not to play this season."

Marseille said Newcastle had made no serious offer for the gifted but temperamental 23-year-old.

Ben Arfa, however, said that a deal could be done.

"Newcastle have committed themselves to give Marseille what they were asking for, which is a loan with an option to buy me," he said.

Marseille have started the defence of their title in disastrous fashion, losing their first two league matches.

The club confirmed on Saturday Senegal striker Mamadou Niang, last season`s top scorer in Ligue 1 with 18 goals, was leaving them for Turkish side Fenerbahce.

Bureau Report

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