Hatem Ben Arfa to leave Newcastle United for French club Nice


French club OGC Nice have agreed a deal “in principle” to sign Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa, according to the club’s website.

Ben Arfa’s Newcastle contract expires this summer and, following a season-long loan to Hull City which itself was cut short following a falling out with Hull manager Steve Bruce, the parent club is happy to receive a nominal fee and see the volatile playmaker leave six months early.

[ RELATED: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

The 27-year-old will have a medical in the Mediterranean city of Nice on Monday, and if all goes as planned, could make his return to French football next Saturday against Lorient. Ben Arfa has been on the books at Newcastle since leaving Marseille in 2010. Prior to Marseille, Ben Arfa made his professional debut for Lyon as a 17-year-old in 2004.

Ben Arfa was a member of the so-called “Generation 87” — a group of promising players born in 1987 that included Karim Benzema, Samir Nasri and Jeremy Menez — but has failed to reach similar heights and popularity as his same-year brethren, thanks in large part to a perceived attitude and application problem.