• Manager not pleased with French winger's condition
• Ben Arfa has just returned from rehabilitation in France
Alan Pardew has warned Hatem Ben Arfa that he needs to work harder if he hopes to reclaim his place in Newcastle United's first team. The France international creator is arguably the biggest talent at St James' Park but Ben Arfa has only recently returned from the French national technical centre at Clairefontaine where he spent more than two months undergoing rehabiliation on a hamstring tear sustained in early December.
Ben Arfa was delighted to be granted the special privilege of relocating to Paris for treatment but Pardew is disappointed with the condition he has come back in. Newcastle's manager had hoped to involve the 25-year-old in Saturday's trip to Swansea but has now almost certainly ruled out that possibility.
"I have to say Hatem's conditioning has disappointed me this week, and we will be working hard in the next few days to get him up to speed because he lacks a bit of fitness, for sure," said Pardew. "I just think it's something we need to push him on at. His upper body strength is there, but we want to work on his general fitness. I think that needs to improve."
Meanwhile Pardew, who has confirmed that ankle ligament damage will sideline Tim Krul, his Holland goalkeeper, for up to five weeks, is not expecting Mike Ashley to reinvest a £100m windfall in his squad.
Newcastle's owner recently sold a 4% stake in his Sports Direct company, prompting speculation that Pardew could be spending big this summer.
"No," said Pardew. "I don't think any of that will be coming my way. The windfall is earned from the success of Mike's companies and what we have to do is get our own success here on and off the pitch, and we are working well towards that to generate our own money. That's the brief that we have got and that's what we will have to do."