Newcastle believe Ben Arfa is overweight as they deny rumours he’s been sacked

Newcastle United have denied rumours that Hatem Ben Arfa has been sent back to France but do have worries over the player’s fitness and ability to play regularly.

Reports emerged over the weekend that Ben Arfa has been told to pack his bags and go back to France after yet another dressing room spat, this time involving manager Alan Pardew.

But according to a report which appeared in the Chronicle, the club are denying that this is the case.

The player, who was left out of the squad for Newcastle’s game against Swansea after an argument with Pardew, held talks with his manager where he has been told that he will continue to feature for the club – if he can prove his fitness and lose some weight which the management feel he is carrying, hindering his ability to play every week.

Newcastle will welcome Mathieu Debuchy and Loric Remy back in to the squad for their game against Arsenal at the Emirates on Monday night after both players came through the game against Swansea without suffering an ill-effects. Moussa Sissoko is also back after suffering a hamstring injury.

They will, however, be without Luke de Jong.

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Lee Hurley

Writer specialising in good football and bad relationships. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.