Liverpool shock link to maverick French playmaker

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Liverpool are being linked with a shock move for attacking French international Hatem Ben Arfa.

The Marseille playmaker has been on the radar at a string of clubs this summer, with new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson just one manager thought to be taking a closer look at the player.

A 23-year-old who's comfortable on the wing, as an attacking midfielder or in the second striker role, Ben Arfa has been desperate to leave the Stade Vélodrome following a war-of-words with manager Didier Deschamps in the French press.

Regarded as the next big thing in France when breaking onto the scene as a teenager at Lyon, Ben Arfa spent four years with the club before making an €11 million Ligue 1 switch in July '08.

Despite achieving relative success with OM, Ben Arfa was keen to leave the club this summer and agent Michel Ouazine confirmed that Werder Bremen and a 'top Premier League club' have offered the player a deal.

Newcastle United were originally thought to be leading the chase for the player and close to agreeing a season-long loan deal, but Ouazine has revealed that the Magpies are not the English team close to a deal.

Reports in the French press suggest that either Liverpool or Manchester United have made the approach for Ben Arfa, with Ouazine revealing that it would be a 'big surprise' to many.

The Reds have previously courted Ben Arfa under the Benitez regime, but reports surfaced last week that Hodgson was keen on the Les Bleus international.

The German side offered in the region of £6.6 million for Ben Arfa, suggesting that any bid for the player would have to be in that region should the Anfield side make their move.

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