Blues still in the dark over Ben-Haim future

Tal Ben-Haim's future is still to be resolved by Pompey
Tal Ben-Haim's future is still to be resolved by Pompey
Sylvain Deslandes could play at left-back if Dion Donohue is switched to midfield

Pompey boss encouraged by ‘good options’

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a legal wrangle is preventing Pompey from cashing in on Tal Ben-Haim.

And Steve Cotterill admits he has no idea when the Israeli defender’s future will be finalised.

Ben-Haim, who is one of Pompey’s highest wage-earners, spent the first half of the season on loan at West Ham, making 12 appearances.

That spell ended on January 11 but he has still to return to Pompey or have his loan renewed at Upton Park.

While Ben-Haim is in limbo, the dispute involving all parties is now going through the legal channels.

And Cotterill admits he hasn’t a clue whether he will see the former Chelsea man at Fratton Park again.

He said: ‘I don’t know the answer. That’s more of a political question for probably someone else.

‘Tal is not training with us. That’s why we are still on six-a-sides.

‘He could come back, I suppose, but I absolutely don’t know, honestly.

‘The only small bit I do know is he is in a disagreement with West Ham about whether his contract was valid from January 1.

‘As a player we would welcome him. Whether we would welcome his wage is a question for someone else.’

The futures of Richard Hughes and Michael Brown are still no clearer.

The duo both remain at Fratton Park after the end of the transfer window.

There has been no offer from Pompey to reopen talks aimed at negotiating with the midfielders to waive the clause in their contracts which would entitle them to new deals if they play one more match for the Blues.

Meanwhile, Cotterill dismissed deadline-day speculation linking Pompey with a loan switch for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

He added: ‘No chance. I don’t know where that has come from.’