Friday, June 15, 2007

Benayoun asks to leave as Liverpool confirm £3m offer

The Israel midfielder Yossi Benayoun has indicated to West Ham United that he wishes to leave the club, having been unsettled by confirmation that Liverpool have made a bid of around £3m for him.
Rafael Benítez hopes to add Benayoun, whom he has tracked since his days at Racing Santander, to his ranks as he seeks further midfield options with Liverpool's chief executive, Rick Parry, confirming that a formal approach was made to West Ham last week. That offer was immediately rejected as the Londoners value the 27-year-old at nearer £5m.

Benítez remains optimistic of reaching a compromise to land the Israeli but the Merseysiders' long-standing interest in Darren Bent will only result in a transfer if Charlton Athletic radically reduce their valuation of the England forward. The Championship club had agreed to sell Bent to West Ham for £17m, only for the striker to reject the move following talks over personal terms at Upton Park.
Charlton have insisted that the valuation has effectively been set by West Ham's offer but Liverpool - who are competing with Tottenham Hotspur for his signature - would only be willing, and able, to offer around £10m for the 23-year-old. Furthermore, Benítez has other priorities to pursue in the market, with any deal potentially reliant on the sale of his Wales striker Craig Bellamy.

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