Soccer / Ben Haim-Chelsea move off as Abramovich ties purse strings
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho had expressed an interest in Israel international defender Tal Ben Haim, but club owner Roman Abramovich has told him that he will not have funds available to bring in new players.
Israel international defender Tal Ben Haim will not be moving to Chelsea during the January transfer window. Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho had expressed an interest in the Bolton Wanderers player, but club owner Roman Abramovich has told him that he will not have funds available to bring in new players.
Mourinho's injury-hit side was held to a draw by third-division Wycombe Wanderers on Wednesday, but the Portuguese coach said he would not be making signings and hinted that he had been restricted by the board. "It is not choice - it is not my club. I am just the manager," Mourinho said. Meanwhile Bolton manager Sam Allardyce said yesterday that Ben Haim would leave the club as a free agent when his contract expires at the end of the season. The 24-year-old, who joined on a three-year deal from Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004, has been a first-team regular under Allardyce, helping Bolton reach the upper reaches of the Premier League and break into European soccer via the UEFA Cup.
"He won't sign a contract now," Allardyce told Bolton's Web site yesterday. "I don't think he'll move this month. He is likely to see out his contract, and he'll be off and away in the summer.
"As a player, you can use the rules and regulations - and you can't blame him for that." Allardyce said he expects Ben Haim to be professional in his remaining days at the Reebok Stadium.
"It is a difficult situation for both parties," said the Bolton boss. "But as long as Tal continues playing for us at the level he has set himself, I'll be very happy. He is an ambitious lad and even though we have a vibrant ambition ourselves, it seems there are clubs bigger than us who are keen on signing him."