Chelsea Transfer News: Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa Heading To Blues For £18m?

The rebuilding of Chelsea gathers pace under newly anointed manager Roberto Di Matteo, with the Newcastle winger the rumoured subject of a huge bid.

Daily Mail is to be believed. Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich is apparently willing to sign-off on an £18 million move for the skilled attacker, which would see the player able to link-up with Eden Hazard and Marko Marin in a new-look offense, potentially along with Porto striker Hulk. The injury-prone 25 year-old has proved a hit of late at the stadium previously known as St. James' Park, with his £5 million signing from Marseille now looking like another notable Newcastle bargain. Chelsea may not get their man very easily however, as the Magpies under Mike Ashley have proven formidable when it comes to extracting exorbitant fees from rivals, as Andy Carroll's move to Liverpool demonstrated. The England striker sealed a £35 million move to Anfield in January of last year, despite only half a season of top-flight football under his belt. It remains to be seen how willing Chelsea are to enter an equally protracted negotiation, or whether they'll simply move on to another target. Ben Arfa's link to Stamford Bridge is the first such rumour since Roberto Di Matteo was handed a two-year contract as Chelsea manager last night and suggests the likes of Florent Malouda may be heading for pastures new this summer as the European champions rebuild an ageing squad.

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A regular film and video games contributor for What Culture, Robert also writes reviews and features for The Daily Telegraph, and The Big Picture Magazine as well as his own Beames on Film blog. He also has essays and reviews in a number of upcoming books by Intellect.