Israeli striker Barda in Premiership move

By Simon Griver, August 20, 2009
Israel striker Elyaniv Barda

Israel striker Elyaniv Barda

Israel striker Elyaniv Barda will be a Premiership player by the end of the month, the JC understands.

Barda enhanced his chances of a big money move with a goal in last week’s friendly against Northern Ireland, his fifth for Israel in 16 international appearances.

His Israeli agent is confident of clinching a move before the transfer window closes. Speaking from his Antwerp office, David Koren said: “I’d say the chances of Elyaniv moving to England in the coming days are 70-30 in favour.

“There were scouts and representatives from Blackburn, Portsmouth, Fulham, Sunderland and Bolton in Belfast and Pini Zahavi contacted me a few days ago to discuss Elyaniv’s availability. We are expecting some offers over the coming week before the window closes.”

Barda, 27, is best remembered for his performance in Israel’s 2-1 victory over Russia in the Euro 2008 qualifiers. He scored the first goal and set up the winner for Omer Golan to revive England’s chances of reaching the finals.

Born in Beer Sheva, Barda joined Belgian outfit Genk in 2007 from Hapoel Tel Aviv. He has hit 21 goals in 58 appearances for the Belgians.

Koren insists reports that Genk want £4 million for Barda are incorrect. He said: “It is true that there were enquiries from Everton and Celtic at the end of last year but there were never any concrete offers.
“I’m sure Genk will be prepared to let Elyaniv go for a lot less.”

Barda himself is maintaining a low profile and saying he is happy at Genk, where he is a local favourite and under contract until 2013.

Koren said: “Elyaniv has gone as far as he can in the Belgian league and is looking forward to a new challenge in the Premier League. There is also interest from the Bundesliga so Germany is a possibility too. Elyaniv wants to play in one of Europe’s top leagues but England is his preferred destination.”

Tal Ben Haim has been linked with a move to Everton from Manchester City as a makeweight in the £20 million deal that would see Joleon Lescott move in the opposite direction.

The fact that Ben Haim’s agent Pini Zahavi has been appointed to represent City in the protracted negotiations with Everton over Lescott lends credence to the reports that the Israeli defender could be heading for Goodison Park.

Last updated: 5:10pm, August 20 2009