Newcastle United outcast Hatem Ben Arfa has been handed a lifeline by former club Lyon who are willing to offer the player a return to France – providing he is willing to take a pay cut.
The 27-year-old Ben Arfa has been exiled to the club's development squad after a falling out with manager Alan Pardew and has played no part in the club's preparations for the start of the new season having missed their tour of New Zealand.
The Frenchman was reportedly fined by the club for returning to training 1.5kg overweight following his summer break as his relationship with the Tyneside club reached breaking point.
Ben Arfa is contesting the fine but his agent has suggested his future lies elsewhere.
And Lyon, where Ben Arfa emerged as one of Europe's brightest talents 10 years ago, would consider offering him a chance to rescue his career, providing the player lowers his wage demands and convinces the club he is ready to work.
Speaking to RMC, Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas said: "A return of Hatem Ben Arfa? If he is willing to make the financial effort that would allow him to return then we would have him.
"Undeniably he was technically one of the very best players I've had during my 27-year presidency. He is a complicated boy in terms of management, but he has a very good background."
After emerging from Lyon's youth academy in 2004, Ben Arfa enjoyed a prominent rise in France but one that was often accompanied by controversy. Following a training ground brawl with former Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci he left the club for Marseille having previously been linked with some of Europe's biggest clubs.
After two seasons at Marseille where his commitment was again brought into question Newcastle paid a reported fee of £5m to bring the winger to St James' Park but another move is now likely.
"We don't know what the problem is. Pardew in the past has said Hatem was extraordinary," Ben Arfa's agent Michel Ouazine was recently quoted as saying by the Mail.
"Hatem has done everything for Newcastle, every effort has been made to discuss the problem. We are in a situation where there doesn't seem to a solution."