BEN ARFA PLEASED WITH START

Newcastle United loan star Hatem Ben Arfa says that he is pleased with the start that the club and himself have made this season. Ben Arfa, who is on a season-long loan at Newcastle from Marseille, marked his first start for the Magpies with a stunning winner in the 1-0 victory at Everton on Saturday.

The French international is settling into life on Tyneside and he is delighted with his start at his new club. “Sometimes in football you have to take a risk,” said Ben Arfa. “I knew about Newcastle United and when I came there for the first time, you could see how big it was.

“It may have been newly-promoted but it didn’t feel like it because there are so many good players at the club – and you could see that on Saturday.”

BEN ARFA DESPERATE TO JOIN NEWCASTLE

Newcastle United new boy Hatem Ben Arfa has said that he is not feeling bad about forcing Olympique Marseille because he badly wanted to join Newcastle United. Known as a mercurial individual, Ben Arfa went on strike from les Phoceens after they had turned down an approach from the Premier League club. Additionally, he threatened to quit football if the move didn’t take place.

Having moved from Olympique Lyonnais to OM in a not dissimilar manner two years previously, Ben Arfa doesn’t see a problem with the way he handled himself.

“At no time did I figure I had done something stupid,” Ben Arfa stated.

“The decision to possibly spend a year without playing, I took myself. I have a hard head, you know.”

The media have speculated that the player’s father has had an influence over his actions in recent days, but that’s been rejected by the winger.

“I’m not a kid, I’m 23 years old. The decisions come from me and only me. I am not manipulated by anyone,” Ben Arfa said.

It is believed that it is partly because of this transfer drama that Laurent Blanc has overlooked the player regularly considered French football’s enfant terrible for the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers.

NEWCASTLE SIGN GOSLING

Newcastle have pulled off a major coup in the transfer market by signing young sensation, Dan Gosling on a free transfer. The 20-year-old was entitled to leave Everton on a free transfer after the club failed to give a written offer to the out-of-contract player by mid-May.

“It’s a brilliant move for me – now that the deal is done, I can’t wait to get started,” Gosling told the Newcastle club website.

“I’ve played at St James’ Park and know about the great atmosphere.”

He added: “Playing there in a black and white shirt is something I’ve thought about already and it will be a great day when I finally get to walk out in front of 50,000 fans.”

NEWCASTLE WANT BOYD

RANGERS believe Newcastle United have re-entered the race to sign striker Kris Boyd after Birmingham City turned their attentions elsewhere.

Boyd has been courted by City all summer and had expected to move to St Andrew’s when his contract at Ibrox expires at the end of June.

But Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is attempting to follow up the £6m signing of Nikola Zigic by beating Wolves to the £7m capture of Burnley’s Steven Fletcher, which would signal the end of his interest in Boyd.

A fortnight ago Newcastle had unofficially discounted making a move for Boyd, but towards the end of last week sources close to the player suggested Newcastle are in the market for him again.

Sigurdsson to Snub Newcastle?

Gylfi Sigurdsson insists he is happy to stay at Reading Football Club. The Icelandic international won many admirers during the 2009-2010 season after hitting 20 goals for the Royals, which has led to much speculation over his future.

It has recently been suggested that Premier League new-boys Newcastle United are prepared to pay £2million for his signature, as Chris Hughton plans for their top-flight return.

However, Sigurdsson insists he is prepared to reject all offers which may come this way during the window, as he looks to help his current club clinch promotion next season.

“I’ve got two more years on my contract,” said the midfielder. “I’m happy here and playing every week so I think it would be a good idea to stay here for another two seasons.

“I’ll just turn my phone off and enjoy the summer now. If we start next season properly then I think we will have a great chance to get into the Premier League.”

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