Grant signs deal with West Ham


Avram Grant has agreed a three-year deal to manage West Ham but is not expected to be unveiled at Upton Park until next week.

The Israeli has been courted by Hammers owners David Sullivan and David Gold since the beginning of May and negotiations moved into top gear after Portsmouth's 1-0 cup final defeat against Chelsea on May 15.

Details of Grant's contract, worth £1 million a year, and an extra £300,000 in performance-related bonuses, were completed by Grant's agent, Pini Zahavi, last week, on the eve of his resignation from Portsmouth. Grant has been in Israel this week but declined to comment about the West Ham job. Sources close to Grant say the reason for the delay in signing the West Ham contract is that Zahavi is still ironing out technical details, but it is also believed that Grant is exploring other long-shot options at bigger clubs.

Liverpool are understood to have approached him several weeks ago when it looked as if Rafa Benitez was moving to Juventus. With Benitez's future still uncertain, Grant wants to be sure that Anfield is no longer a possibility.

Comments by a West Ham spokesman that it is 95 per cent certain that Grant will be their next manager reflect the fact that the club's owners have decided that he is their man but acknowledge that he has other offers to consider. Grant has pledged to make a commitment by June 1, if not earlier.

Zahavi has been brought in by West Ham to reshape the squad. Tal Ben Haim will be moving to Upton Park with Grant as Portsmouth are eager to offload the central defender, who earns weekly wages of £40,000, on a free transfer.

It is believed that Grant does rate Ben Haim particularly highly and famously fell out with the defender when he was Chelsea boss. Ben Haim was an unused substitute for the cup final but Zahavi, who is also Ben Haim's agent, has persuaded Sullivan, Gold and Grant that Ben Haim will add depth to the Hammers squad.

Grant is more enthusiastic about Kevin Prince Boateng, Jamie O'Hara and Nadir Belhadj following him from Portsmouth.

Another player who could be on the move is Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

He told friends in the Israel national team that he expects to be moving 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."

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