Ben Haim’s contract dispute rumbles on

Tal Ben Haim
Tal Ben Haim
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Jamal Lowe. Picture: Mark Robinson

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Tal Ben Haim remained in limbo as Steve Cotterill admitted: Nobody can tell me what is going on with him.

The Israel defender turned out for his country in their 2-0 defeat to Serbia on Wednesday but is still on the sidelines in domestic football as a dispute rumbles on over whether he has earned a contract at West Ham.

Having spent the first half of the season on loan at Upton Park, reports suggest Ben Haim believed he was entitled to another loan period or a permanent switch.

But West Ham have denied there was any such deal in place, so Ben Haim is temporarily back at Pompey to train as the wrangle is sorted out.

That, however, means he is unavailable to play for the Blues and Cotterill has no clue on the developments.

He shrugged: ‘I don’t know. Nobody can give me answer on that at this moment in time.

‘People want to know don’t they? Not only do other people want to know but I want to know.

‘Quite what’s going to happen there, I don’t know.’

Cotterill admits he has not seen too much of Ben Haim in training just yet.

He said: ‘We didn’t do a lot last week when he first came in and this week he hasn’t been in at all.

‘When you come in on a Thursday and Friday, they are generally toning down days so he hasn’t done a lot.

‘He is meant to be back in this morning but I’m not counting on the fact that he will be available.

‘I don’t think he’s found it too difficult being back with us. We’ve got a good bunch of lads here who would probably welcome anyone who’s got a pair of boots!’