Real Madrid keeping tabs on Ben Arfa, claims Puel


Nice coach Claude Puel has claimed Real Madrid are keeping a close eye on the situation of Hatem Ben Arfa.

The 28-year-old joined Nice from Newcastle United in January 2015, but FIFA ruled he would not be allowed to play for the club because he had already appeared for Newcastle's Under-21 side and Hull City that season.

He has been in stunning form for Nice in 2015-16, though, his seven goals in 18 Ligue 1 appearances earning him a recall for France's national team.

His excellent performances have seemingly not gone unnoticed elsewhere and his coach at Nice has revealed Madrid are among those interested in signing him.

"I am not surprised to hear that big clubs such as Real Madrid are keeping tabs on him," Puel told Nice Matin.

"Hatem has become part of the club, just like Mathieu Bodmer when he joined us from PSG.

"I do not agree with those who say Hatem needs to be at a small club in order to deliver his best performances.

"I hope for him that he no longer plays for Nice next season.

"The high level he has been playing at is not just some isolated dazzling performances. He has been very consistent and has been working very hard."