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Aug 13, 2010

Ben Arfa set to stay at Marseille

Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier has denied Newcastle have made a firm offer for Hatem Ben Arfa.

Hughton denies Ben Arfa contact

Ben Arfa, 23, did not train on Thursday and it was reported that he had gone on strike to try to force a move to Newcastle. However, Dassier said Ben Arfa - who scored against Norway for France on Wednesday - will remain at Marseille.

"Hatem is part of our squad and will remain so," he said. "I do not think the coach (of Newcastle) is in-step with his leaders if you believe his statements on Sky. It is quite strange. There is no serious and solid offer from Newcastle at the moment."

Referring to his France performance, Marseille coach Didier Deschamps told France Football: "I'm convinced his goal will give him confidence, although I didn't need to see that to recognise his qualities.

"Hatem Ben Arfa is still a Marseille player and I will consider him for selection for our next game."

L'Equipe reports that Ben Arfa failed to attend a meeting with Deschamps on Friday morning and will now be fined.

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