Ben Haim In Great Demand – The Race is On


News this morning that Tal Ben Haim is a renewed target of Chelsea. Chelsea of course tried to sign the Israeli player last January when a number of their defenders – including John Terry – were injured but Roman Abramovich would not come up with the money (₤3M).

Now Ben Haim is a free agent and we had thought his move to Newcastle was about tied up – because Sam Allardyce – who brought him from Israel in 2004 – is now our manager.

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Tal Ben Haim

The plot thickens however, as Ben Haim has apparently received strong encouragement in the last few days that a move to Chelsea is still possible. This is because his former Israeli coach Avram Grant, who is currently at Portsmouth, is to move to Stamford Bridge in a few weeks time to become the Director of Football there.

Official offers for Ben Haim have been made by Portsmouth and West Ham – but apparently no official bid has been made by Newcastle.

How many center-backs Portsmouth are after? – since they have Sol Campbell and are reportedly also going after Titus Bramble and Sylvain Distin – both free agents.

West Ham are hoping that the draw of fellow Israeli International Yossi Benayoun – already being at the club – will be enough to persuade Ben Haim to join him.

Grant, has apparently formed a good relationship with Roman Abramovich and watched Saturday’s FA Cup final from Abramovich’s private box.

Jose Mourinho’s first choice is not Ben Haim , but his preferred choice would be Jorge Andrade – the Portuguese defender who is available from Deportivo La Coruña.

Newcastle have been linked with Andrade in the past – but the fee of around £10m is more than Chelsea (and Newcastle) – would want to pay. Ben Haim’s price is much more attractive (₤0M).

On a personal note – Ben Haim is due to get married next week – but that has hardly interrupted the negotiations – and we hope Big Sam is in there making the case for us.

We need some good signings quickly to ensure we are ready for the coming season – unlike what happened last year.

As usual – comments welcome.



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5 comments so far

  • Jeff

    May 23, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #1

    Newcastle need to get in there now and get the players they need in sorted before it gets too late and other teams end up seeing we are desparate and the prices go up as per usual…He needs defenders in after letting 4 go so far….saying that those four had to go..Big Sam will have it sorted we just need to get behind him and give him a chance.

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  • jacobmannjones

    May 23, 2007 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #2

    I see Ben Haim as a must get for Allardyce right now; he’d offer alot of ability and spirit in the side ~ I just don’t see a more attractive option that is realistic at this point. I know Sol has been linked, and would offer ability for a couple of campaigns, though TBH is a longer term solution to the puzzle being assemb;ed at SJP.

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 23, 2007 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #3

    jeff – there’s news to day Sam wants to go in now and get Leighton Baines for around 6M from Wigan – before he goes to the European under-21 championships next month. Baines would be good start. I’m sure he’s doing all he can to get Ben Haim.

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 23, 2007 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #4

    jacobmannjones – no argument from me – think TBH (i like that!) would be great at Newcastle.

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  • matt w

    Jun 10, 2007 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #5

    not only is he a good defender, he is fairly young, on 24yrs, been in the prem for 3 yrs so he is well experienced and a person that i will be happy for stev tayor to learn his trade from. i would welcome sol campbell as he will giv us added cover to this position and mor experienc and influence on and off the pitch for the younger squad members to appreciate

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