Ligue 1 - Ben Arfa dropped by Marseille

Eurosport - Fri, 13 Aug 15:37:00 2010

France midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has been dropped by Marseille for Saturday's Ligue 1 trip to Valenciennes after he missed training for the second day in succession.

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A tense stand-off developed between both parties on Friday, with the gifted but temperamental 23-year-old desperate to leave for Premier League Newcastle United but the Ligue 1 champions saying he would stay.

"Hatem is part of our squad and it will stay that way," chairman Jean-Claude Dassier said.

"There is no serious offer from Newcastle. It's a crazy situation."

Coach Didier Deschamps, irritated by the transfer situation with Senegal striker Mamadou Niang also demanding a move, declined to comment.

Marseille suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat by promoted Caen last weekend and are keen to sign Brazil striker Luis Fabiano from Sevilla.

Sevilla coach Antonio Alvarez suggested a deal was close, saying he would not lose any sleep if Marseille's interest led to Luis Fabiano leaving.

Newcastle open their campaign against Manchester United on Monday. They have signed Sol Campbell, James Perch and Dan Gosling this summer as they bid to remain in the top flight and build for the future under Chris Hughton.

Reuters / Eurosport

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