Filed: Saturday, 23rd June 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel
West Ham United are understood to have withdrawn the offer of a four-year £10m contract from Yossi Benayoun.
The Hammers, frustrated by Benayoun's dallying and continued links with Liverpool are said to have retracted the offer after the Israeli made it clear that he wanted to move on - despite previously having agreed to sign a new contract.
Liverpool saw an initial derisory bid of £3.5m rejected immediately by United early in the week, before upping the offer to £4.5m.
The Hammers are said to be looking to engineer a player exchange with former Newcastle and Blackburn striker Craig Bellamy - plus cash - coming the other way.
Benayoun - who was signed by Alan Pardew for £2.5m in the summer of 2005 - started his career in East London well and soon became a popular figure amongst supporters.
But that support began to dwindle once it became clear that Benayoun's club were playing second fiddle to his country.
On at least two seperate occasions the midfielder managed to play for Israel depite declaring himself unfit for West Ham United immediately prior to those matches - something that didn't go unnoticed by many fans who began to question his priorities.
Earlier this year he was offered the massive deal which, his agent claimed, Benayoun would happily sign.
But it became clear that all was not well when he returned from holiday, and perhaps less of a surprise than it should have been when Liverpool - whose very own Rick Parry defended Sheffield United in their tainted 'Campaign for Fairness' last week - made their opening bid.
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by Micah Anshan
08:30PM 25th Jun 2007
''You know what, country is bigger than club, Benayoun is Israel's captain and that comes before West Ham. I love the Hammers and I hope they keep him, but he needs to be there for Israel too.''
05:45PM 25th Jun 2007
''So we get Toxic Bellamy - primarily a winger- and lose NRC and Yossi who are our two best midfielders - barring Noble . Am I missing something? We appear to be going in reverse and that's without the Bent snub. Must confess to being a big fan of Yossi but that's probably because he's the most technically able player over the past two years. With Hayden going, Marlon wanted by everyone Matty being touted would the last player to leave please turn out the lights.''
05:36AM 25th Jun 2007
''why have players who are at the club only for the money? So I say 'on ya bike son' ...''
10:00PM 24th Jun 2007
''I'm confused (easily). We're in the process of a clear out of the type of players with the wrong type of attitude and then at the same time, we're taking Bellamy as a part ex? Liverpool can't wait to get shot of Shearer's best mate - like every other club he's been at ...''
by Neil Thorogood
08:50PM 24th Jun 2007
''How convenient that Rick Parry stands up and speaks for Sheffield Utd at the arbitration hearing days after they try and buy one of our biggest assets on the cheap! No thought on his part that us being relegated may help them get hold of Yossi for a derisory fee I suppose?''