Former Portsmouth, Sunderland, West Ham and Manchester City defender Tal Ben Haim involved in £2 billion bid to buy Chelsea

Former Pompey player Tal Ben Haim is reportedly brokering a deal on behalf of a Gulf-based billionaire to buy Chelsea.

Monday, 21st March 2022, 11:00 am
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 6:34 pm

Ben Haim, who featured 23 times for Chelsea, has a key involvement in the bid, with interested parties having been set a deadline of last Friday to declare their intent.

Chelsea were put up for sale earlier this month amid sanctions against owner and Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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As a player, Ben Haim represented Pompey 57 times, yet was largely an unpopular figure during his three years on the south coast.

Signed by Paul Hart from Manchester City in August 2009, the Israeli international defender was a member of the Pompey side relegated from the Premier League.

He was also an unused substitute in their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the 2010 FA Cup final at Wembley.

The defender was subsequently loaned to West Ham in the 2010-11 season, reuniting with ex-Blues boss Avram Grant, but made just 12 appearances.

Tal Ben Haim, who spent three seasons with Pompey, is reportedly brokering a deal on behalf of a Gulf-based billionaire to buy Chelsea. Picture: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Ben Haim was back at Fratton Park the following year, featuring 33 times as they were relegated from the Championship under Michael Appleton.

Off the pitch, however, Ben Haim was often a controversial figure during Pompey’s ongoing financial problems.

Administrator Trevor Birch warned that all remaining senior members of the first-team squad had to be removed from Pompey’s wage bill by August 10, 2012 – or the club would be liquidated.

Of the 12 players affected, Ben Haim was the third from last to depart after reaching a settlement on his contract.

However, he came in for criticism over his conduct during negotiations as the club attempted to remain in existence.

Ben Haim would later represent QPR, Standard Liege, Charlton, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem.

Now aged 39, he also represented Israel 96 times.

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