Keinan set to be Blackpool's rock

By Simon Griver, July 15, 2010
First signing for the seasiders: Haifa’s Dekel Keinan (centre) in action against Juventus last season

First signing for the seasiders: Haifa’s Dekel Keinan (centre) in action against Juventus last season

Maccabi Haifa defender Dekel Keinan is set to clinch a dream move to the Premier League after agreeing a one-year deal with Blackpool.

Israeli international Keinan, 25 met Blackpool manager Ian Holloway last weekend before returning to Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel. He went back to Blackpool to undergo a medical before travelling with the team for their pre-season training camp in Ireland.

Out of contract with Haifa, Keinan is available on a free transfer. He remains determined to play abroad following an unsuccessful trial at Russian champions Rubin Kazan earlier this month. Keinan received a better financial offer from Belgian side Mechelen but prefers to take his chance in England.

"This will be a marvellous opportunity for me and the chance to succeed is in my own hands," said Keinan.

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston said: "We've spoken to Dekel and we're hopeful that we can finish the deal off."

Keinan has been with Haifa since he was a teenager and has also had loan spells at Bnei Sakhnin and Maccabi Netanya. He has made over 100 appearances for Haifa, including many Champions League and Uefa Cup matches, and has played for Israel 15 times since 2007, ensuring that he will qualify for a work permit.

Tal Ben Haim's proposed move to West Ham is deadlocked as he refuses to drop down from weekly wages of £40,000 at Portsmouth. Panathinaikos are also interested in the defender.

Ben Sahar, the former Chelsea striker, is returning to Israel. He is expected to sign for Hapoel Tel Aviv following a spell at Espanyol. Maccabi Haifa striker Shlomi Arbeitman has joined Belgian side Gent. Dudu Awat has extended his contract with Real Mallorca until 2013.

Last updated: 1:45pm, July 15 2010