Brendan wants Ben Arfa

Posted by ESPN Staff

Premier LeaguePA PhotosNewcastle are trying to secure Hatem Ben Arfa to a new contract

Hatem Ben Arfa is under increasing pressure to sign a new contract at St James' Park amid interest from Liverpool, the Daily Mirror reports. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is a keen admirer of the 25-year-old and has made enquiries about securing his services in the off-season.

But Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has no intention of letting the player leave Tyneside and, now that Ben Arfa is beginning to return from a long injury lay-off, is pushing for the club to tie the Frenchman to a new and improved contract.

Rodgers has also begun his search for a replacement for the retiring Jamie Carragher, with reports suggesting Rodgers is keeping a close eye on Feyenoord youngster Stefan de Vrij. According to the Daily Mail, the 21-year-old Netherlands international has been a target for Rodgers for some time, but with Carragher's impending departure, the 40-year-old has stepped up his interest, even flying to Rotterdam to watch De Vrij captain Feyenoord to victory over PSV Eindhoven.

However, Liverpool are not the only Premier League side interested in the central defender, with Newcastle scouts also spotted amongst the Rotterdam crowd.

Finally, are West Ham United becoming the new Bolton - or the old Bolton, as it were?

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has a tried-and-tested rule for avoiding relegation - stick with tried-and-tested players - and Daily Mirror is suggesting the 58-year-old is about to recruit his sixth ex-Bolton player to the club. Ricardo Gardner, a free agent since ending his 14-year association with Bolton, could be about to join the Hammers on a short-term deal with Allardyce hoping the Jamaica international can solve the club's left-back problems.

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