Ancelotti pressed for Benayoun signature


Reports from Israel say that Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti instructed the club’s management to reach a separate agreement with Liverpool over the signing of Yossi Benayoun.

The transfer of the Israeli to Chelsea became bogged down in the past few weeks because it was part of a more complex package designed to bring Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to Stamford Bridge as well.

However, when Ancelotti realised that protracted negotiations over Torres are unlikely to be concluded, if at all, until August, he asked that the Benayoun deal be immediately implemented. The Chelsea boss needs cover for Joe Cole who has been released and Ancelotti is concerned that the change of management, and perhaps ownership at Anfield, could scupper Benayoun’s move. He therefore wants the Israeli's signature on a four year contract within the coming few days.

Yesterday, Benayoun attended the barmitzvah celebrations in Israel of Ofek Harazi, the son of former Watford defender and Israeli international Alon Harazi. The 1,000 guests comprised Israel’s entire football fraternity and Benayoun received widespread congratulations on his move to Stamford Bridge.

Benayoun, 30, has agreed a four-year contract with Chelsea worth in the region of £80,000 pounds a week. Liverpool and Chelsea have yet to agree a transfer fee but it is expected to be about £6.5 million.

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