Hatem Ben Arfa is seeking a reported €8million in compensation from Paris Saint-Germain following his difficult spell at the club.
The midfielder, now at Rennes, is pursuing damages after being frozen out of the team for the final 15 months of his spell in the French capital, according to his solicitor Jean-Jacques Bertrand.
Ben Arfa played his final game for PSG against Avranches in the Coupe de France on April 5, 2017 and did not appear in a competitive match again until his Rennes debut last September, in which he scored in a 2-1 Europa League win over Jablonec.
PSG have yet to respond publicly to Ben Arfa’s complaint.
“An important part of his contract was conditioned on his performance on the field. So, he is prevented effectively from participating and being able to fulfil his contract,” Bertrand said in an interview broadcast by Sky Sports.
“Hatem considered that this period was very harmful to him. He believed that, with a personal coach, he would be able to find another club immediately, and he did.
“He believed he would regain a highly competitive level quickly but, as everyone knows in this business, you need weeks and weeks to get in full shape, after being prevented from playing official games for 15 months.”
Ben Arfa enjoyed a positive start to his PSG career following a move from Nice in 2016 but was ostracised from Unai Emery’s first-team plans following the 4-0 win at Avranches, in which he scored twice.
Bertrand thinks the 31-year-old was effectively barred from playing for the club after president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was angered by a comment the player made to the Emir of Qatar on a visit to Paris.
“The explanation of this situation is that, a few days after a match, in April 2017, the Qatari Emir and owner of the club came to a training session,” Bertrand explained.
“At the end of it, all the players came to salute him, and Hatem, as any other football player, came to the Emir and said: ‘I am happy to speak to you because I sent a few messages to the president and he didn’t reply’.
“It seems to me this is a pretty obvious thing to say, especially in a comical tone. No bad intentions, but apparently the president didn’t take it very well.”
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