Liverpool have been linked with a whole squad of new players so far this transfer silly season.
One of the least plausible links, at least initially, was when French publication RMC Sport credited us with an interest in enigmatic winger Hatem Ben Arfa, who is out of contract at Nice this summer.
The 29-year-old was far from a universal success at Newcastle United, making only 86 appearances in four years, but has transformed himself back in Ligue 1 with 17 goals in 34 games for Nice last season.
His time in England was marred by behavioural and fitness issues, but Empire of the Kop editor Jordan Chamberlain argued that he would be a perfect fit at Anfield if we offered him a Bosman contract.
According to L’Equipe, via Sky Sports, plenty of other clubs fancy taking a chance on Ben Arfa. Lazio, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon, Fluminense, Fenerbahce and Tigres are all supposedly fans. French star Andre-Pierre Gignac plays for Tigres and has become a fan favourite.
But L’Equipe reports that Nice have made a last-ditch attempt to keep the 15-times capped France international with an offer of €450,000-a-month (£355,000) and a €5m (£3.95m) signing on fee.
That is unlikely to persuade Ben Arfa into staying. He could earn just as much as that elsewhere, and he would be wise to join a bigger club if he is truly to make the most of his footballing renaissance.
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