Monday 1 September 2014 11:49, UK
Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has turned down the chance of a move to Birmingham, according to Sky sources.
The France international is out of the picture at St James’ Park and has not featured this season following a reported disagreement with manager Alan Pardew towards the end of the last campaign.
Although there have been reports of several clubs making enquiries for Ben Arfa, on Monday morning Sky sources have been told that the attacking midfielder and winger is unhappy with the prospect of playing in the second tier of football in England.
Sky Sports News reporter, in Newcastle for Transfer Deadline Day updates on the Magpies, understands that no Premier League clubs have so far expressed an interest in taking on Ben Arfa.
The 27-year-old has been linked with a return to former club Lyon and Turkish side Besiktas, but there were also reports of Birmingham chasing a surprise loan deal.
Birmingham boss Lee Clark played down reports of his interest over the weekend in Ben Arfa, who has scored 14 goals in 86 appearances for Newcastle since joining from Marseille.
“He’s obviously a Newcastle United player and there’s a situation up there with him not being in the team,” said Clark.
“But I don’t want to talk about any other teams’ players. If anything was to happen we will let you know.”
Speaking after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Wigan in the Championship, Clark was unsure if he would be making any additions to his squad before the transfer deadline and suggested his defence was top priority.