AC Milan enter chase for Toon target Ben Arfa
Published 19:32 17/08/10 By Simon Bird and Neil McLeman
Newcastle United fear that AC Milan will scupper their controversial bid to land French ace Hatem Ben Arfa.
The Italian giants are offering Marseille a swap deal with Dutch targetman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar heading to France.
And Ben Arfa was last night accused of dropping his club Marseille "in the ****" by his coach Didier Deschamps for going on strike to force a move.
Boss Chris Hughton said he was "very hopeful" of adding to his squad, but the Ben Arfa saga is ebbing away from Newcastle despite the player spending the weekend on Tyneside.
Newcastle have been linked with Feyenoord star Leroy Fer, but are in desperate need of a quick striker and a creative midfielder.
Hughton said: "It's either a long two weeks, or a short two weeks. We've continually said we want to bring players in, and I'm very confident we'll have bodies in by the end of that two-week period."
French champions Marseille have lost their first two Ligue 1 games this season with the Ben Arfa affair causing a huge distraction.
And former Chelsea favourite Deschamps said: "Hatem is unusual. He is basically a good guy but he has dropped all his coaches in the ****.
"He has so much talent he can change any game. I cannot talk him out of his wish to leave. But to not train, with respect to the club and his team-mates, for me that is something unthinkable. Even if he doesn't want to speak to me, that is not problem. But he can still leave if he trains with us."