It appears that Newcastle may be after Tal Ben Haim, now of Manchester City, for a second time, after we failed to secure his services 18 months ago, just after Sam Allardyce arrived at the club.
Tal Ben Haim – interesting Newcastle again
It is also clear that there may be some good Manchester City players available in January if the new owners start to pay ridiculous prices for players again in the January transfer window. Although if manager Mark Hughes has anything to do with it, he will no doubt try to add some common sense to their transfer strategy.
Their £50M spent on Jo and Robinho was hardly money well spent in August, and these were two trophy players and Mark Hughes is having a difficult time trying to get all his individuals to play together as a team. They are just one place above Newcastle in the league on goal difference, after scoring 2 goals in the last two minutes at Blackburn on Sunday to secure a rather lucky draw.
Ben Haim is a decent defender, and of course he can play anywhere across the back four, so he would be a great acquisition for us, especially since he played a bunch of times for Bolton Wanderers, and has played 44 times for Israel.
While West Ham center-half Matthew Upson is also on Kinnear’s wanted list, West Ham are asking silly money for Matthew, and we’d be stupid to pay over the top for Upson, who is a decent center-back, but that’s all.
The Israel international is expected to be allowed to move when the Blackburn owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, funds some new players at the City of Manchester Stadium next month, and Newcastle are all ready to offer a cut-price move to St James’ Park for Ben Haim.
Haim cost about £5M when he joined Manchester City from Chelsea in July, after spending just one season with the London side, when Ben Haim signed for them in preference to Newcastle United in the summer of 2007. We think £3M would be a decent deal for Newcastle.
Ben Haim is a definite possibility, since he should be available, and he will add some depth and experience to Newcastle’s defense, and certainly increase the competition for places in the back four.
But don’t be surprised if Sam Allardyce, now at Blackburn Rovers, will also try to secure his services, since the two worked together well at Bolton.