Tal Ben Haim is expected to move to Manchester City on a four-year deal worth £13.5 million.
Chelsea’s Israeli defender prefers City over Portsmouth because they agreed to match his current £65,000 weekly salary and pay around £5 million for him.
The move was delayed as the Stadium of Manchester club focus their attentions on signing Brazilian star Ronaldinho. But that move fell through so the defender is believed to be next on the shopping list of new City boss Mark Hughes.
Should the move go ahead, Ben Haim, 26, would maintain his status as Israel’s best-paid sportsman. He became the nation’s top earner last summer when he moved to Stamford Bridge from Bolton.
Israel’s national keeper Dudu Awat did not travel with Deportivo La Coruna’s squad as the Spanish outfit arrived in Israel ahead of tomorrow’s Intertoto Cup encounter against Bnei Sakhnin.
The 30-year-old was told by manager Miguel Angel Lotina earlier this week that he has no future in La Coruna and the club recently signed Spanish international keeper Daniel Aranzubia from Atletico Bilbao. Awat was also absent for the club’s training camp in Denmark.
Deportivo have turned down a one million Euro offer from French side Toulouse for Awat and it remains unclear where he will be playing when the new season starts.
“The manager has it in for me,” said Awat. “He forgets that I kept his side in the top league. It doesn’t bother me.”
Awat, 30, has made 66 appearances for Deportivo since joining them two years ago from Racing Santander.
Relations between Awat and Lotina soured last December when the Israeli was dropped. “I have two years remaining on my contract with the club, not the manager, and if need be I’ll watch matches from the stands,” he said.
“I’ll be able to spend more time with my family.”
Yossi Benayoun hit the only goal as Liverpool beat Tranmere in a friendly.