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 By Mark Rodden

Paris Saint-Germain's Hatem Ben Arfa - too late in career for Barcelona move

New Paris Saint-Germain signing Hatem Ben Arfa says he turned down an approach by Barcelona as he felt it was too late in his career to try to force his way into their star-studded side.

The former Newcastle United attacker, 29, who scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 last season and made six assists, was unveiled as a PSG player on Monday. He said he had come within minutes of signing for Sevilla before deciding to move to the French champions last week.

Ben Arfa also seriously considered an offer from Spanish champions Barcelona but has admitted that he would not have been content to act as a backup to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

"The first time that I was told about the interest from Barcelona, I didn't believe it too much," Ben Arfa told France Football.

"Obviously it turned my head a little bit... but since I was still in the running for the top places [in Ligue 1] with Nice I didn't get carried away.

"In any case, it would have been difficult for me over there because they already have a team in place and I would have had to be very, very strong to get into that team.

"In fact, if the offer had arrived four or five years ago I would have gone there fully committed because I would have had the time to wait patiently for a little bit.

Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa scored 17 goals for former club Nice in Ligue 1 last season.

"At 29, it's not exactly the same. I don't have too much time to lose.

"But I really have no regrets, especially when I see what awaits me at PSG."

Ben Arfa also rejected an offer from his first club Lyon and revealed in France Football that his renaissance at Nice had also attracted enquiries from Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

Mark covers European football for ESPN FC. Twitter: @mrodden


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