Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has confirmed Hatem Ben Arfa is in talks with Barcelona and urged the player to sign for the Catalan giants. Ben Arfa, who was released from his contract by Newcastle United in January 2015, has enjoyed a remarkable career turnaround and is now expected to be part of the France squad for Euro 2016.
With his current contract set to expire this summer, Nice are resigned to losing the 29-year-old on a free transfer, with Liverpool among the clubs to have made him an offer, according to RMC Sport. Jurgen Klopp's side could be left disappointed however, with Luis Enrique's side also in the chase.
Nice chief Rivere told France 3: "Barcelona are indeed one of the numerous clubs who have asked for Hatem. Frankly, if it could happen I would be very, very happy for Hatem, who deserves to go to a club like Barcelona.
"You don't refuse a club like Barcelona, in my opinion, but it is his decision. If I was a player, I wouldn't ask any questions. I would go to Barcelona. I would be very happy if it happens and we are very happy for the club as well because it shows that at Nice we are capable of sometimes having exceptional players.
"But it's not yet done, according to what Hatem has told me. They are still in discussions."
Former Lyon starlet Ben Arfa has struck 17 goals in 32 league games this season, having also laid on five assists for his teammates.
L'Equipe reported this week that Barcelona are in "advanced talks" with the French forward, adding the player also travelled to Catalonia to meet club officials and discuss the deal.