Tal Ben Haim in West Ham loan extension talks


Avram Grant has revealed that West Ham are in talks to extend Tal Ben Haim's loan deal until May.

The Hammers boss does not expect the Israeli defender to be returning to Portsmouth when his loan deal expires on Saturday.

Grant said: "We very much want Tal to stay. We have a problem over his contract with Portsmouth but he is good for us, and if they agree, we want to loan him until the end of the season."

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill wants Ben Haim back at Fratton Park but with wages of £38,000 a week, which would make the Israeli the highest paid player in the Championship, the cash-strapped south coast outfit's owners are expected to let him stay at Upton Park. Ben Haim had been set to sign a three-year deal with West Ham in the summer but due to doubts about a lingering groin injury, the Hammers took him on a six-month loan instead. After barely being used in the opening months of the season, Ben Haim has been an ever present in the Hammers' line-up during December. Ben Haim, 28, who came to England in 2003 when he joined Bolton from Maccabi Tel Aviv, had previously played under Grant at Portsmouth and Chelsea, where he was transfer listed for criticising his Israeli boss. But Grant insists that their past differences are behind them, saying "relations between us are now fine."

Avi Cohen, the 54-year-old former Israel captain, was pronounced clinically dead on Tuesday, eight days after sustaining severe head injuries when his scooter collided with a car in Ramat Gan.

He was thought to be wearing an unstrapped helmet, which came off before his head hit the ground.

His son, Tamir, the Bolton midfielder, read a brief statement on Tuesday evening at Ichilov Hospital.

He said: "A Ministry of Health committee met today and confirmed that my father is clinically dead. My father has died; that is the situation now.

"Thank you and all the people of Israel for your support and assistance. The family would like to get together and digest the situation."

Bolton striker Johan Elmander dedicated his goal to Cohen during Sunday's 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

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