HATEM BEN ARFA’S future on Tyneside was cast in further doubt after claims from France that he had been fined for returning for training overweight.

A report in Le Parisien claimed that Ben Arfa, who has been training with the club’s development squad, has been hit with a £1,500 penalty for heading back to Tyneside for pre-season 1.5kg heavier than he should have been.

The club are not willing to comment on internal matters.

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The 27-year-old is said to be disputing the situation, while he is also keen to stay at Newcastle despite suggestions there has been offers from Ukraine and the Middle East for his services. The Frenchman has fallen out of favour at St James’ Park under Alan Pardew, whose business in the transfer market could pave the way for an exit. He has one year remaining on his contract. Newcastle are still in the hunt for another striker, while long term midfield target Clement Grenier has been told he can leave his club this summer at the right price. The France international will leave Lyon if a €15m valuation is met. Grenier and his attacking team-mate Alexandre Lacazette, valued at €18m, are both on the Tyneside club’s radar and Lyon are happy to sell to balance the books.