Hatem Ben Arfa: Nice complete signing of ex-Newcastle midfielder

Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa has 13 caps and has scored two goals for France

Former Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has completed a move to French top-tier side Nice, where he feels he will not be "judged" by the media.

Ben Arfa, 27, had a loan deal with Hull City brought to an early end and his contract at Newcastle terminated before signing an 18-month deal with Nice.

"There are people here who trust me, who do not judge me as some people want to judge me through the press," said Ben Arfa, who joined Newcastle in 2010.

Nice are 11th in France's Ligue 1.

"I spoke to the coach [Claude Puel], I liked his integrity and his approach to football and within 10 minutes, my choice was made," the Frenchman said.

"Even if Real Madrid had called at that moment, my mind was made up."

Ben Arfa, who started his career at Lyon, returns to his homeland four-and-a-half years after leaving Marseille to move to St James' Park.

He scored 13 goals in 76 league appearances for the Magpies but when Hull manager Steve Bruce ended a loan deal early in December, a route back to Tyneside was not on offer and his Newcastle contract was terminated on 4 January.