D-day for Yossi
Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun has told Israeli teammates that he expects to be playing elsewhere in the new season.
The JC understands that Chelsea have received inquiries about the player from Spurs, Newcastle, Roma, Galatasaray and Panathinaikos.
Benayoun, 31, would prefer to stay in England, and his most likely destination is White Hart Lane. Harry Redknapp is a great admirer of the midfielder, and if the Israeli moves across London, it is likely to rekindle the Blues’ interest in midfielder Luka Modric, with Benayoun a makeweight in any deal.
With speculation rife in the Israeli media, Benayoun, who has been in Switzerland for Israel’s friendly with Ivory Coast, said: “Let’s wait a couple more days and then we will know exactly what is happening.
“I don’t know what’s going to be in the coming few days so let’s be patient on this one.”
Although Benayoun has been impressive in pre-season friendlies, it appears that he is not in the plans of new Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas.
Benayoun joined Chelsea last summer for £5.5million and has two years left to run on a three-year contract. However, he barely played last season after rupturing an Achilles tendon in September and was unable to return until April.
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure opened the scoring as Israel were beaten 4-3 by the Ivory Coast in Wednesday’s international friendly.
Israel resume their 2012 European Championships qualifying campaign against Greece on September 2.
Lying joint-second in Group F, the Israeli team will travel to Croatia on September 6 before concluding their European campaign in Malta on October 11.
Yossi Benayoun has impressed during pre-season but his future could lie away from Stamford Bridge