The lawyer of former Newcastle and Hull City midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has revealed that his client is considering retiring from professional football after French authorities barred him from playing competitive games with Nice.
The 27-year-old only joined Nice last month from Newcastle, after an unsuccessful loan spell at Hull City was cut short.
FIFA rules state that a player can only play for a maximum of two clubs in any given season though, which has left the enigmatic playmaker in limbo.
Newcastle and Hull City
After appearing, and scoring, in a Newcastle under-21 game against Reading in August as well as making nine appearances for Hull, Ben Arfa is not eligible to play a competitive match for any other team until the end of the season.
The French Football League (LFP) required clarification from FIFA, who confirmed that under-21 league games must be considered as competitive matches.
The midfielders lawyer, Jean-Jacques Bertrand told Infosport Plus TV, in quotes relayed by BBC Sport, that he might walk away from the game altogether.
Bertrans said: “In the back of his mind there is the possibility to quit. His stay at Nice will end tomorrow.
“It is out of the question that Hatem will finish his season at Nice.”
A statement from the LFP read: "In application of the decision, the LFP has no other choice but to ban Hatem Ben Arfa from playing official matches with Nice until the end of the season."
While it may be harsh that playing in an under-21 game has cost him from playing for the rest of the season, surely Ben Arfa won't retire at the grand age of 27. Surely not?