The French Football League (LFP) are yet to decide whether or not former Newcastle playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa can sign for Nice.
The 27-year-old is keen to join the Ligue One club as a free agent after his Newcastle contract was cancelled earlier this month, but could be prevented by FIFA rules which state a player cannot play for more than two clubs in the same season.
Ben Arfa’s appearance for Newcastle’s Under-21 team on August 25, before moving on loan to Hull City, was considered an official match by FIFA. Nice are seeking to push the deal through before Friday’s meeting with Marseille.
They were hopeful the LFP would rule in their favour this week after receiving Ben Arfa’s international transfer certificate from the Football Association via the French Football Federation.
The LFP’s legal committee did meet with Nice chief executive Julien Fournier and Ben Arfa’s adviser Jean-Jacques Bertrand yesterday morning, but proceedings have been stayed for the time being.
A statement published on Nice’s official website read: “There is no decision regarding approval for Hatem Ben Arfa’s contract. The France international, who remains in Nice training for the derby (against Marseille) with his team-mates, is in a state of limbo.
“The League would like the international federation (FIFA) to express an official position before it makes its decision. To that end, the LFP has asked the FFF to communicate with FIFA’s Player Status Committee.”