Nice, France (SportsNetwork.com) - France international Hatem Ben Arfa has returned to Ligue 1 after signing an 18-month contract with Nice.

Ben Arfa was released by Newcastle on Sunday to pave the way for his return to Ligue 1, where he previously enjoyed a successful spell with Marseille more than four years ago.

The 27-year-old left Marseille for Newcastle, and he was on a season-long loan at Hull City this term before the agreement was ended early by Tigers manager Steve Bruce, who didn't care for Ben Arfa's attitude.

Newcastle also had little interest in the Frenchman, and he will now hope to get a fresh start back in his native country after tallying 14 goals in 86 games for the Magpies.