Former Newcastle United star Hatem Ben Arfa has ended one of the biggest transfer sagas of recent months, agreeing a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain after his contract expired with Nice. Barcelona, Lyon and Sevilla had all been linked with his services in recent times, but the 29-year-old has opted to continue his turbulent career with the Ligue 1 billionaires.
The French forward enjoyed mixed fortunes during his time in England with Newcastle and Hull City, despite arriving to the Premier Leauge with a big reputation from his days at Lyon and Marseille.
His career at the top level looked to be over in January 2015 when Newcastle terminated his contracted. However, Nice gave him a lifeline last summer and Ben Arfa made the most of it. He scored 17 goals in 34 Ligue 1 appearances, helping Nice to a fourth-place berth.
He was named in the Ligue 1 team of the year, and with him being available on a free transfer in the summer, many big names were linked with his services.
In early May, L'Equipe suggested he was in "advanced talks" regarding a move to Barcelona, where he would serve as a back-up for the 'MSN' attacking trio of
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere then confirmed that negotiations between the player and Barcelona were ongoing, suggesting he would be open to a move to a "very, very good" club like the Catalans.
However, Barcelona's interest cooled amid talk of Lyon, Sevilla and PSG as more likely destinations.
Reports in France last week suggested a move to the Europa League champions was in an advanced stage. However, the departure of Unai Emery to PSG has seen a twist in the saga, with the French giants emerging triumphant.
"Paris Saint-Germain are happy to announce the signing of forward Hatem Ben Arfa on a two-year contract, tying him to the club until 30 June 2018," the club confirmed in a statement.
Ben Arfa, meanwhile, has expressed his delight over the agreement after revealing that playing for the Parisians is a "childhood dream".
"Signing with Paris Saint-Germain is a very happy and a proud moment. Paris Saint-Germain has always been a very special team for me, so to wear this jersey at the Parc des Princes is a childhood dream," the player said.
"It is an honour that the club is giving me this opportunity, making this dream come true. I will do my utmost to represent my new team to the best of my abilities and to make our supporters proud. Finally, I would like to thank OGC Nice, who helped me get back to enjoying my football again and gave me another chance to show French fans what I am capable of on the pitch."