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Aug 27, 2010

Ben Arfa to join Newcastle

Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier has confirmed Hatem Ben Arfa is to join Newcastle on loan with an option to buy.

Ben Arfa, 23, has long been linked Newcastle, but the two clubs had struggled to find an agreement and more recent reports had suggested Liverpool or Werder Bremen could move in for the France international.

However, a deal is now in place that will see Newcastle pay a reported €5 million if he plays 25 games for the club and the transfer is set to be sealed shortly.

"He will travel to Newcastle tomorrow," Dassier said. "They have offered to raise the price for the option to buy if Hatem plays 25 matches and also pay the 5% of the cost to FIFA. We will respond. After that, it's up to Hatem to agree a deal. We have to finish this story as soon as possible."

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton added: "There have been some discussions with Ben Arfa which are very much ongoing and hopefully, that's something that can be done."

Meanwhile, Hughton remains hopeful of keeping defender Steven Taylor. Taylor was transfer listed this week after the parties failed to agree terms on a new contract, but Hughton still hopes a compromise can be reached.

"As always, we would prefer to keep it in-house, but it becomes very difficult these days," he said. "Discussions are ongoing. Steven is certainly a player we would like to remain at this football club. He is a player we value very highly and discussions are very much ongoing. We are very hopeful."

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