Portsmouth sign Ben Haim from Man City

UAE-owned club’s squad also set to be bolstered by loan deal with Benfica for Hassan Yebda.
Portsmouth sign Ben Haim from Man City
By Martin Morris
Mon 31 Aug 2009 10:08 PM

Portsmouth have signed the former Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim from Manchester City and are also said to be interested in re-signing Benjani Mwaruwari from Eastlands.

However, they face competition from Blackburn Rovers and Fulham for the striker, according to the Guardian newspaper.

The Israeli international’s arrival comes after Sylvain Distin left Fratton Park for Everton.

Ben Haim, who has fallen out of favour at Eastlands, spent time on loan last season at Sunderland.

It also emerged that manager Paul Hart's squad is set to be bolstered by the midfielder Hassan Yebda, after Benfica said they had agreed to loan the Frenchman to Fratton Park.

The burst of late night activity followed an earlier failed bid for Egyptian international, Amr Zaki, according to the player's agent.

With the transfer window due to close in the next 24 hours Pompey had been looking to bring the striker back to the UK, after he impressed for Wigan Athletic in last year's campaign.

Sportinglife.co.uk reported on Monday, quoting Zaki’s representative, Nader Shawki, that Egyptian football club Zamalek turned down Pompey’s attempts to sign the striker on a permanent or loan basis as they have no plans to sell him.

"Portsmouth have made an official bid for Zaki, but Zamalek said they wanted to keep him and rejected any possibility of his exit," said Shawki.

"Portsmouth offered three different solutions for Zamalek to get Zaki.

"They offered £3million or £2.5million plus 50% of the next sale to buy him permanently. They also made a £500,000 loan offer, but Zamalek aren't ready to sell."

Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan, has likened Zaki to England legend Alan Shearer, saying he exhibits the same level of confidence on the ball and doesn’t need to look up because he has a natural instinct.

''Strikers like that have an instinct as to where the goal is. You can't describe it, you can't give it to anybody.''

The 26 year old scored 10 goals in 29 appearances while on a 12-month loan at Wigan.

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