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Mon 31 Aug 2009 10:08 PM

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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 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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robsquad 10 years ago

We know you do not want to invest till January but having sold our only playmaker Niko Krancjar to Spurs.....We NOW need a playmaker.........PLEASE MR. Al Fahim

nofer 10 years ago

Out of all the football players in the World and the EPL, you have to sign an Israeli player? I wish he was reading this. Why would you do this or allow this? Ben Haim is like the only Israeli player in the EPL and whats funny is that Man City first bought him and now PS. Over 2,000 other players in the EPL and he had to sign this guy.

Original Joe 10 years ago

Let's be honest, with this poor bunch of players there is no manager in the world who could win. Ben Haim is not going to help save Portsmouth from relegation. And what a low ball bid for Zaki. Come on, only 3 million Pounds??? How serious is Mr. Al Fahim?? And now there is talk of Krancjar going to Spurs? The secret to winning is not to sell all your best players and leave the manager with a load of rubbish! Even if Ferguson or Wenger were in charge they would face an uphill climb all season long to avoid relegation. If Paul Hart is given rubbish to work with then no one should be surprised at the results.

Karam 10 years ago

I mean no disrespect to all the Pompey fans, but this team is going to get relegated. 4 losses in four games, my word. This Kid (''doc") is going to get the club in a big mess.

Abdul M. Ismail 10 years ago

Weirdo wrote "Ben Haim is like the only Israeli player in the EPL" which is total rubbish. Yossi Benayoun, the Israeli Captain, plays for my team, Liverpool FC and recently extended his contract.

Mohamad 10 years ago

From eveything Weirdo is trying to highlight, u picked up that Yossi is another Israeli player? Did you not get the moral of his storry? Fahim, who supposedly is smart (he's one kid i agree with Karam) should have done better on signing an israeli player...There were many other options out there u know. Hope pompey doesnt go down though

Mark Flap 10 years ago

I'm sure if Al Fahim (aka the poor man's Donald Trump) signs all Emirati players then Portsmouth will do really really well. Wait a minute - even the UAE national team doesn't have all Emirati players....