Lyon could return to Ben Arfa after Birmingham bid fails

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Hatem Ben Arfa may be in line for a return to Ligue 1 with Lyon, after turning down the chance to move to Birmingham City on loan.

Blues boss Lee Clark had hoped to convince the 27-year-old to sign for the Midlands club on a temporary basis, but Ben Arfa has opted against a move to St Andrews with the Frenchman opposed to the idea of dropping down a division.

Previously linked with a move to Liverpool, there has been little concrete interest from those teams within the Premier League for the winger.

But with Toon boss Alan Pardew unlikely to recall the France international to the first-team squad any time soon, a move away looks highly likely.

Lyon could offer one potential destination for Ben Arfa, with the player previously spending six years on the books of the French side before moving to Ligue 1 rivals Marseille.

Club president Jean Michel Aulas hinted at the potential for a deal earlier in the summer, though he stressed that any deal would need to be in-line with Lyon’s finances.

Speaking to French publication RMC, he said: “Ben Arfa to make a return? If he is willing to make the necessary financial effort, why not?”

Ben Arfa could now be a late arrival at Stade de Gerland, following Lyon’s poor start to the current campaign, which has seen them go three games without a win in Ligue 1.

They were particularly poor last time out away at newly-promoted FC Metz, going down to a 2-1 defeat. A move for Ben Arfa would not only appease any potentially unhappy fans but also help the club launch a realistic push for Champions League qualification this term.

The Newcastle man could be set to link-up with another Magpies target in Alexandre Lacazette, who has now moved to link up with the France national team squad in a deal that ends any faint hopes the north-east club signing the 23-year-old.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.