The official line is that Ben Arfa is set to shrug off a bout of illness – and declare himself fit for Newcastle’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday.
The forward missed last night’s 3-0 defeat to Swansea with a virus, while striker Papiss Cisse – who, like Ben Arfa, was a substitute during the Magpies’ four-game winning streak – also sat out the game with a heel problem.
Or that's what they tell us.
Neither player is happy at warming the bench in recent weeks, and rumours were sure to circulate.
Alan Pardew; “We lost Papiss before the game, and we lost Hatem to a virus. Papiss, we’re going to have to wait and see (whether he can feature at Old Trafford).
“He couldn’t get his boot on. He was a bit uncomfortable. We’ll see how he goes.
“Hatem will be no problem. He was up and about, though he was at home. We checked with him, and he was a lot better. Two more days, and he should be OK.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad