Yossi Benayoun Close to Signing With Chelsea

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 02:  Salomon Kalou of Chelsea holds off the challenge from Yossi Benayoun of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on May 2, 2010 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Salah OsmanContributor IJune 15, 2010

Chelsea were last night close to agreeing a £5.5 million deal with Liverpool to sign midfielder Yossi Benayoun as replacement for Joe Cole. The double winners, who last week announced they would let Cole and Michael Ballack leave on free transfers, hope to confirm the signing of Benayoun by the end of the week.

On the face of it, the move is a puzzling one. Benayoun, 30, is two years older than Cole, and has failed to cement a regular first-team place in a Liverpool side that finished seventh last season. Yet Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti clearly believes the Israeli international is a better bet in Chelsea's midfield next season.

Benayoun has verbally agreed terms on a four-year deal worth around £55,000 a week, and is due to have a medical at the club's training ground later this week. Of course three Chelsea players (Beletti, Ballack, and Cole) have left the London side. And Deco seems to be on his way back to Brazil. Chelsea is losing four midfielders, and this shows why Benayoun's versatility in the midfield is important to Carlo.

The news comes on the day Chelsea won another victory in their fight to sue their former striker Adrian Mutu for £14.3 million, although the Romanian international is not giving up yet. Mutu will continue to contest Chelsea's attempts to claim compensation after he tested positive for cocaine 2004, despite the latest setback when the Swiss Federal Court ruled in the Premier League Club's favour.


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