Benayoun to decide future

By Simon Griver, June 18, 2012
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Yossi Benayoun’s future will be decided in the coming days with the Israel captain looking set to remain in London.

Chelsea have received inquiries from Spurs, West Ham and QPR about the availability of the 32-year-old midfielder, while Arsenal may yet bid to offer Benayoun a permanent contract following his loan spell with the Gunners.

Chelsea — who last week appointed interim boss Roberto Di Matteo on a permanent basis — also have the option of keeping Benayoun for the remaining 12 months of his current deal.

Aston Villa and other Premier League teams are also interested in the midfielder, but the Israeli would prefer to stay in London where his wife Miri and three children are settled.

The fact that Benayoun was not released by Chelsea at the end of May along with other players like Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa suggests that there are some at Stamford Bridge who want to retain his services.

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been playing his cards close to his chest over a possible move for Benayoun.

Benayoun made 25 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions and scored six goals during his one-year loan deal last season as Wenger’s side finished third and booked their place in next season’s Champions League.

Wenger was reportedly not only impressed by Benayoun’s performances, but also his positive influence on the squad’s younger players and his exemplary behaviour in the first half of the season where he barely played.

Benayoun’s agent Ronen Katsav said: “Every summer we hear about a lot of teams interested in Yossi.

“But as always we will only comment when there is something official to say.”

    Last updated: 10:49am, June 18 2012