Hatem Ben Arfa could find himself playing football sooner than he thought with New York City FC entering discussions with the player over a move to Major League Soccer, according to French publication L’Equipe.
The 27-year-old joined Ligue 1 side Nice at the start of January after his contract with Newcastle United was terminated but he has been refused international clearance to play for the French club as he has already played for two other clubs in the same season.
Ben Arfa had spent the first half of the current season on loan at Hull City, where he made a total of nine appearances, but he had also played for Newcastle’s Under-21 side before moving on loan – a match which FIFA ruled to be an official match.
The world governing body’s transfer rules prevent a player from appearing for more than two clubs in one season and so Ben Arfa’s 18-month deal with Nice was terminated on Tuesday.
There were some rumours that the skillful winger was ready to retire from football but it now seems New York City are ready to take a gamble on the Frenchman.
L’Equipe have reported that the MLS expansion franchise are ready to offer Ben Arfa a short-term solution to get him playing football again with the new season set to begin in a month.
Ben Arfa should be allowed to play in MLS as the season is completely different from those in Europe, and therefore FIFA would surely not count that as a move to a fourth club in the same campaign.
Any deal would likely be a short-term one as Ben Arfa is believed to want to return to Europe as soon as he can play there again.
Would Hatem Ben Arfa be a good signing for New York City FC?