LIGUE 1

Lyon bid for Barcelona target Ben Arfa

The in form Nice winger has notched up 17 league goals and provided five assists this season, a fact that hasn't escaped the attentions of some of the biggest European clubs.

Lyon bid for Barcelona target Ben Arfa
VALERY HACHE AFP

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said on Friday he had made a bid to Nice to resign forward Hatem Ben Arfa.

After a brilliant season with Nice, Ben Arfa was reported a week ago to be on the verge of a move to Barcelona.

But Aulas has always had a nose for a deal and his former charge will be out of contract at the end of the season.

'He's one of our priorities. He wants to come back, he's open to that,' Aulas said in an interview on French cable tv channel BeIN Sports.

The 29-year-old winger has relaunched his career at Nice, with 17 league goals this season, but was disappointed on Thursday to be left out of the France squad for Euro-2016, only making the reserve list.

The former Newcastle and Marseille player made his debut for Lyon at just 17-years-old back in 2004 and went on to play 91 times for the club, while winning four straight Ligue 1 titles.

The 31-man provisional French squad for Euro 2016

Last Friday, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere told television station France 3, confirming reports in sports daily L'Equipe, that said a move to Barcelona was 'very probable'.

'I would be very, very happy for Hatem, who deserves to go to a club like Barca,' Rivere said.

'But it is not done yet from what Hatem has said. They are in talks, as are other clubs.'

Playmaker Ben Arfa has been unstoppable with the ball at his feet this season, leading Nice to the brink of Champions League qualification in scintillating style after coach Claude Puel built a side around his mercurial talents.