Benayoun sees his future at Chelsea


Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun has told friends in the Israel national team that he expects to move to Chelsea over the summer.

Benayoun said: "(Carlo) Ancelotti wants me for next season and now everything depends on Liverpool. Chelsea will have to pay £6 million but I believe that in the end I'll be moving there."

Benayoun has spent the past week training in Israel under new national team coach Luis Fernandez. However, he was released on Sunday from Israel's away friendlies against Uruguay and Chile over the next week

Fernandez said, "Benayoun has had a hard and tough season. I can see it has taken its toll and I didn't want to risk him."

However, sources in Israel say Benayoun has been released because of the uncertainty over his future and that he is anxious to be immediately available for negotiations with Chelsea.

Benayoun, who turned 30 earlier this month, is said to have fallen out with Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez in the closing weeks of the season for being kept on the bench too much.

The Israeli joined Liverpool from West Ham in 2007 and signed an improved four-year contract last summer.

West Ham's manager-elect Avram Grant has been linked with a move for Benayoun but the Israeli manager has told friends in Israel that he does not think it likely that the Liverpool midfielder would be interested in a return to Upton Park.

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