Football: Ben Arfa set for transfer to Nice

Hull City's Hatem Ben Arfa (left) challenges Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen during their English Premier League football match at the KC Stadium in Hull, northern England Nov 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Hull City's Hatem Ben Arfa (left) challenges Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen during their English Premier League football match at the KC Stadium in Hull, northern England Nov 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NICE (AFP) - French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is set to join Nice, the Ligue 1 football side announced on Saturday, on what could be an 18-month long contract.

The 27-year-old is currently on Newcastle's books but has been on loan with Hull City this season without establishing himself in Steve Bruce's side.

His loan spell at the KC Stadium was cut short and Newcastle have made it clear there is no further role for him at St James' Park, opening up the prospect of a return to France.

"OGC Nice have reached an agreement in principle with Hatem Ben Arfa. The France international will have a medical on Monday prior to signing with Le Gym," the club said on its website, adding that he had trained with his new team-mates on Saturday.

Sources close to the Cote d'Azur side said that the length of the contract would likely be 18 months.

Ben Arfa, who emerged as one of France's most promising players early in his career with Lyon and Marseille, won the last of his 13 caps for France at Euro 2012.

He joined Hull on a season-long loan from Newcastle in the summer, but failed to make an impact in his nine Premier League appearances.

He also had a strained relationship with Bruce, who reportedly was unhappy with Ben Arfa's lack of work ethic at training.

He subsequently returned to Paris and was training on his own, fuelling speculation that he was looking for a return to France.

Nice are currently in 11th place in Ligue 1, just three points clear of the relegation zone.