Rennes president Olivier Letang has confirmed that Hatem Ben Arfa will not be at the club next season.
Ben Arfa, 32, scored nine goals and registered six assists in all competitions for Rennes after joining on a free transfer at the beginning of last campaign, but the option to extend his contract to the end of the season has not been taken up and he has been linked with a move to Spain.
Club president Letang announced the decision during a press conference in which the Coupe de France winners confirmed they had handed head coach Julien Stephan an extended deal that will keep him at the club until 2022.
“Hatem Ben Arfa will not be at Stade Rennais next season,” Letang said.
Following a disappointing 1-1 draw against Guingamp in the league last month, Ben Arfa spoke out and appeared to confirm his imminent departure.
“Guingamp deserved to win. In the game, they were much more ambitious than us. These last matches have allowed me to see my path for next season,” Ben Arfa said after the game.
“My decisions are based on the game. I am not enjoying it and I must be guided by that. What I am offered here is limited, so that directs my choice.
“The whistles of the public? After what we did this season, I can just say thank you. The group showed a lot of things this year, it was 48 years since they had won a cup, I think, they had never lived a European epic like the Europa League run. I can just say thank you.
“At the end, when we get whistled, it plays too. When we make a decision, we must take into account the context. There are lots of things that will make me see what I will do next season.”
Stephan led Rennes to 10th place in the French top flight, after being promoted from his reserve-team post in mid-season, but it was their cup success that provided the outstanding moment.
Rennes defeated big-spending Paris St Germain on penalties after a 2-2 draw at the Stade de France in April.
Club president Olivier Letang said it was “a very great pleasure” to confirm the coach would be staying on, a sentiment that Stephan echoed.
“It’s a great point of pride to pursue my mission with the first team,” Stephan said on Rennes’ official website.
“This season has been historic and rich in emotions.”