Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas is hoping to tempt Hatem Ben Arfa to re-join his club despite strong speculation linking the attacker with a move to Barcelona.

The 29-year-old is out of contract at Nice at the end of the season after a campaign that has seen him score 17 goals as Claude Puel's men make a shock challenge for a Champions League place.

Reports on Monday suggested Ben Arfa was due to fly to Spain for talks with Luis Enrique's side and a visit of Barca's training centre.

Ben Arfa himself has said he will not make a decision on his future until the end of the season and Aulas is still hoping to persuade him to return to the club where he started his career.

"This is a scoop - I had an exchange with Hatem Ben Arfa," Aulas told RTL.

"He has not yet made his decision. If he returns to OL, it will end what we began when his career started here. It is credible."

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere said last week he would not expect Ben Arfa - who has also been linked with a switch to China - to reject an opportunity to join Barca.