Lots of rumors circulating the last few days about the future home of Olympique de Marseille left winger Hatem Ben Arfa. The 22-year old French-Tunisian player has fallen out of favor in Marseille because of his unstable character and his team has been in transfer talks with several teams.
There are plenty rumors that Manchester United are interested in buying Arfa. Sir Alex Ferguson has 80 million Euros to spend from Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Real Madrid last summer and many expect the young player to be one of the first in his “to buy” list. Ferguson on the other hand denied yesterday that Man U will be engaging in any player acquisitions in January as several players are coming back from injuries making purchasing another player to seat on the bench a waste of money.
But Arfa is not just anybody. The winger who is still developing has demonstrated exceptional skill on the field. Some call him the French Mesi in comparison to Barcelona’s Argentine Lionel Mesi. But Hatem’s explosive character is considered by many managers not worth the trouble.
The second team that has publicly declared their interest in acquiring the Hatem Ben Arfa is the Greek champion Olympiakos. It has become know the last few days that the team has offered Marseille 8 million Euros to bring the player to Athens. Under the same offer, the player himself will receive a compensation package of 2.5 million Euro per year. Not too shabby!
Olympiakos desperately need to bolster their roster in January especially in the left wind and attacking midfield positions. The team will be competing in the Champions League knockout stages against the undefeated Bordeaux and as such the signing of a good player is of much importance for coach Zico. Unfortunately for the Greek club, Arfa has said that he doesn’t want to move to Greece and he rather take his chances playing in France.
Watch a Canal+ special on Hatem Ben Arfa in the video below (sorry, it is in French.)