AC Milan’s fortunes could be transformed if Fillipo Inzaghi moves for unwanted Newcastle ace Hatem Ben Arfa before the transfer window shuts at the end of this month.
The Frenchman, who fell out with manager Alan Pardew last term and has yet to be assigned a shirt number for this forthcoming campaign, is said to be one of the clubs main targets as they plot a quick return to European football after last terms shambolic campaign.
Former club Marseille are also reported to be interested, but meeting Newcastle’s asking price of around £12 million is unlikely given their current financial predicament.
Ben Arfa’s time in England has been marred by injuries, but when fully fit and firing he stands as one of the club’s most exciting players.
His current state of exile has baffled the Toon faithful, who stand keen on his talents given the explosive ability he possesses.
The 27-year-old’s eye for the spectacular is clear, with stunning long range goals against Bolton and Blackburn particularly memorable with the latter being described by Pardew at the time as ‘one of the most technically brilliant goals ever seen.’
The former West Ham manager also described the Frenchman as ‘magnificent’ and ‘unplayable’ after Ben Arfa’s virtuoso display in a 2-1 triumph over Aston Villa in the early stages of last year.
His bitter relationship with his manager has left him facing a bleak future at the club, with reports also surfacing that Pardew has questioned his weight and work ethic in recent times.
The player maintains his stance that he has been humiliated by his boss, but the winger is said to have very little backing amongst those in the dressing room.
With owner Mike Ashley set to ignore calls from the fans to sanction the sacking of Pardew, it now seems the Frenchman has played his last game for the club.
Milan are in need of a major overhaul, and have already moved to secure the services of Paris St Germain duo Jeremy Menez and Alex this summer.
Their best chances of keeping star striker Mario Balotelli at the San Siro could come with the acquisition of Ben Arfa, whose wizardry could bring about the best in the controversial Italian forward.
Fellow trickster Robinho is set to leave for pastures new after four poor years on Milanese shores, and the arrival of the former Marseille man would fill the void perfectly.
Champions League football in a minimum requirement for Inzaghi, and Ben Arfa’s desire to prove Pardew wrong and play on the biggest stage in club football could be the factor that sees him play the most pivotal part of all in a possible Milan revival.