Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa said he would love to play for Paris Saint-Germain at some stage in his career.
The winger has been linked with PSG – the club he supported as a child – and has not ruled out a move back to his home nation one day to play in the French capital, but he hopes he can still achieve things with Newcastle.
“Much has been made of the PSG link, it is a club that I’ve supported since I was a child. One day I would love to play for them. But if Newcastle are really ambitious, then I’ll stay,” Ben Arfa told French channel TF1.
Ben Arfa was one of the Magpies’ outstanding players last season when they qualified for the Europa League, and has been described by fellow Frenchman Arsene Wenger as the best player of his generation from Les Bleus.
Since his move to Newcastle on loan in 2010 from Marseille, head scout Graham Carr has been amazed by his progress.
“The French are very good players, they have a very good state of mind, they want to win,” Carr said.
“I prefer to have 11 good French players than weaker (ones) of different nationality. Hatem, for example, I followed him for a long time, I would never have thought he would evolve at Newcastle. He has the level to progress to a larger club.”
The January transfer window has seen Alan Pardew bring in five more Frenchmen to the club, with Moussa Sissoko the latest addition to the squad, joining Yoan Gouffran, Mapou-Yanga Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara and Mathieu Debuchy at St James’ Park.
“The French connection has been a success, so it encourages us to continue,” Pardew said.