Chelsea have now made an approach for Hatem Ben Arfa according to reports in France this morning.
L’Equipe say that their information is that the blues have made their move after seeing Liverpool make a formal contract offer for the former Newcastle winger.
Signing only a one year deal last summer to keep his options open, this season has been a stunning success for Hatem Ben Arfa, with the playmaker coring 17 goals and bringing Nice to the brink of what would be a remarkable Champions League qualifying position with four matches to go.
Atletico Madrid and AC Milan, as well as Liverpool, have all made formal offers for the French international, whilst Chelsea have registered their interest along with the likes of Wolfsburg, Porto, Valencia and Sevilla.
Considering just what a position he was in when Newcastle and then Steve Bruce and Hull discarded him and left him unable to even play football last season, it is an amazing transformation.
PSG are claimed to be the first choice for Hatem Ben Arfa and the French media have said they are watching him but as yet have made no approach.
Interesting to see whether Hatem stays in France and in his comfort zone, or has the desire to return to the Premier League and prove a long list of people (Pardew, Ashley, Bruce…) wrong.
The French clubs who have a chance are surely only those who will be able to offer Champions League football and that is one thing that ironically, Chelsea aren’t able to put on the table, whilst Liverpool need to win the Europa League to get their CL spot.
It would be intriguing to see how Hatem Ben Arfa would get on in the Premier League with a proper platform to give him a chance, as he had in 2011/12 at St James Park, though as a Newcastle fan the whole thing could be a painful experience if he then shows he can recreate his Ligue 1 form in the tougher demands of the Premier League.