Pompey want Ben-Haim exit
Administrator Andrew Andronikou wants to get West Ham target Tal Ben-Haim off Portsmouth's wage bill.
Last Updated: 14/07/10 12:45pm
Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou is desperate to get Tal Ben-Haim's crippling salary off the club's wage bill and has revealed the defender could follow Avram Grant to West Ham.
The Israel international has declined the chance to activate a release clause in his contract which was valid at the end of last season following Pompey's relegation from the Premier League.
West Ham had in any case still started initial discussions with Ben-Haim, but the talks reportedly broke down over the 28-year-old's rumoured wage demands of £38,000-a-week.
The arrival of former Portsmouth boss Grant at Upton Park has resurrected the negotiations and, having sold Papa Bouba Diop to AEK Athens, Andronikou is eager to see Ben-Haim join the Hammers or an unnamed Greek club.
"Now we are speaking about Ben-Haim, and hopefully we can tie that one up in the next day or two," Andronikou told The News.
"There are a couple of clubs we are talking to and we are looking to do a deal similar to Diop.
"I have to say, Ben-Haim is one of the highest-earning players. Potentially higher even than David James.
"He did not want to exercise his relegation release clause. As a club, we cannot exercise it for him.
"In the meantime, it's been a Jimmy Bullard scenario. We are struggling to find clubs who want to pay the same sort of wages.
"West Ham are interested and there is a Greek team. We are hoping to meet both to try to get things going.
"The problem has been West Ham are not willing to pay the player what he has been earning here and there is a gap between the two.
"Hopefully, something can be sorted very, very soon."