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On your toes, son

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West Ham United are understood to have withdrawn the offer of a four-year 10m contract from Yossi Benayoun.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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