The standoff between Paris Saint-Germain and Hatem Ben Arfa looks set to continue, as the former Newcastle United star has reportedly been forced to train with the reserve squad after a summer exit did not come to fruition.
According to French daily L'Equipe (h/t The Sun's Joe Miles), Ben Arfa refused to leave Les Parisiens as long as the club did not pay the full value of what is left from his contract, amounting to the sum of £6 million.
A deal with OGC Nice that would have brought star midfielder Jean Michael Seri to the French capital fell through as a result, further damaging the relationship between the club and the 30-year-old.
Per the report (via sports writer Jonathan Johnson), he was also left out of the UEFA Champions League team list:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
Hatem Ben Arfa not included in PSG's Champions League squad & now training with reserves - https://t.co/cK28zfSpRI - For @ESPNFC. #UCL #HBA2017-9-4 15:47:08
Ben Arfa has had similar issues in the past, as his time wth Newcastle and Hull City was plagued with controversy. He was eventually released from his contract with the Toon in 2015, joined up with Nice and appeared to turn a corner in his homeland.
His 2015-16 campaign was a sensational one, as he scored 18 times and flashed all of the talent that prompted Newcastle's decision to sign him in the first place. More importantly, he appeared to have matured as a player, and he was even rewarded with new call-ups to France's national team.
He moved to PSG last summer but didn't see all that much playing time, even though he mostly impressed when he did start. The arrival of Julian Draxler in January was a major blow, and Neymar's signing this summer all but doomed his chances of making it big at the Parc des Princes.
Football writer Guillermo Bullon summed up Ben Arfa's situation like this:
Guillermo Bullón @GuillermoBullon
Temporada 2017/18 Ben Arfa best skills & highlights HDfull. https://t.co/uUyOIWH2Ob2017-8-31 21:41:57
Due to PSG's tremendous financial situation in comparison to most other Ligue 1 clubs, offloading the winger isn't as easy as it might seem.
Clubs such as Nice would struggle to match his salary, and Les Parisiens understandably have no interest in making up the difference―especially with financial fair play regulations a hot topic following the Neymar transfer.
Ben Arfa has already shown he's willing to sit and wait until he gets what he wants, so don't be surprised if this saga continues until January or even longer. Interested clubs may be wary to take a chance on the talented player given the baggage he brings, and this standoff won't help matters.