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Bruce unaware of Ben Arfa whereabouts

Reports in Ben Arfa's native France last week suggested the Newcastle United attacker - on a season-long loan at the KC Stadium - had returned to Paris to work with a fitness coach.

Mounting rumours have claimed Bruce will look to send Ben Arfa back to Tyneside when the transfer window reopens after a disappointing spell in Yorkshire.

The attacker has failed to score in nine Hull appearances, and has not featured in a matchday squad since being hooked in the first half of last month's 3-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Saturday's 2-0 reverse at Premier League leaders Chelsea left Hull second from bottom after a ninth game without a win.

And Bruce's reported exasperation came to the surface after Saturday's defeat in west London, as he claimed Ben Arfa did not deserve to feature in his plans.

"I don't know if Hatem is in Paris, that's the truth," Bruce said of his loanee.

"As for not playing for Hull City again – at the moment he's not in the squad.

"The transfer window opens in January, so there's still conversations to be had with him.

"But at the moment he's not in the squad and he hasn't earned the right to be in the squad."

Having also fallen foul of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, Ben Arfa is widely expected to leave St James' Park when his contract expires at the end of the season.