Atlético Madrid are not sitting on their laurels with regards to next season. Despite having a Champions League semi-final tie against Bayern Munich to keep them busy as well as trying to catch Barcelona at the summit of La Liga, Los Rojiblancos already have an eye on the 2016/17 campaign. The Mattress Makers are looking to reinforce their squad in a number of key areas and are apparently scanning the market for an attacking midfielder who can do a job on the wing. With that in mind, the Manzanares club are considering Ben Arfa.
The 29-year-old’s contract with Ligue 1 side Nice runs out in June and his rebirth on the French Riviera has attracted a lot of attention across Europe. While Atlético have been quick to express an interest in the Frenchman’s services, they are by no means the only club hoping to sign the ex-Newcastle United starlet. Juventus, AC Milan, Galatasaray, Besiktas and a number of Premier League teams are also keen to strike a deal with the Parisian.
The La Liga outfit’s offer will no doubt be a tempting proposition for Ben Arfa, both on a financial and a sporting level. Currently on two million euros per year, a move to the Spanish capital would see him double his salary. Signing for Atleti would also give him the opportunity to play in the Champions League.
Nice’s manager Claude Puel has been playing him behind the front two in a 1-4-3-1-2 formation this season, however, the left-footer also has enough in his locker to play as a second striker or out wide. He put three past Rennes on Monday night and has already netted 16 goals and laid on four assists since the start of the league campaign.
Ben Arfa first came to prominence at Lyon (as did Carrasco), and while injuries and a difficult personality have threatened to derail his career on a number of occasions, he has matured in recent years.