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Toon 'disappointed' by media reports

Newcastle United have confirmed they will continue to take "the strongest possible action" against any stories relating to the club they believe to be untrue.

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• Pardew angered by criticism

Following their decision earlier this week to ban the Telegraph's north-east football reporter from St James' Park for printing what they believe to be a fictitious story, the club have now taken a similar stance with The Sun over a story involving Hatem Ben Arfa.

Speaking via a statement released on the club's official website, they said: "Newcastle United are hugely disappointed by the article that appeared in The Sun on Wednesday, 1st May, concerning Hatem Ben Arfa, on the basis that their assertion was totally without foundation and completely untrue."

The article alleged that the French winger had been spotted in a local health-club sporting a Paris Saint Germain training kit, something both Newcastle and the player vehemently deny.

They went on to say: "The club is 100 per cent supportive of Hatem. Articles such as this are an attempt to destabilise the club and the team at a crucial period in the season. Supporters should be aware that the club and Hatem are taking the strongest possible action against this flagrant false reporting.

"The Sun did not have the courtesy to check the facts with the club or the player before publishing the piece. Had they done so they would have been told there was no truth in it whatsoever."

Commenting on the situation, Ben Arfa added: "I was shocked when my attention was drawn to the article in The Sun newspaper on Wednesday morning. It is totally inaccurate, misleading and has caused me great personal upset and frustration."


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