Tal Ben Haim signs for Manchester City
Wednesday 30 July 2008
Manchester City have completed the signing of defender Tal Ben Haim from Chelsea.
The 26-year-old has agreed a four-year contract with City after the two Barclays Premier League clubs settled on an undisclosed fee.
It is the Israel international's second transfer in 13 months after he moved to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Bolton in June 2007.
The transfer is subject to the former Maccabi Tel Aviv player gaining a work permit although that will be a formality given his regular appearances for Israel - which included two matches against England during qualifying for Euro 2008.
Ben Haim is the second new arrival at City since the appointment of manager Mark Hughes at the start of last month.
It is thought he cost around a third of the £18m paid to CSKA Moscow for the services of promising Brazilian striker Jo.
After three seasons at the Reebok Stadium, Ben Haim endured a disappointing campaign at Chelsea during which he started just 13 times as John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho proved immovable objects in the centre of the Blues defence.
To win a centre-back berth at Eastlands he will have to do battle with captain Richard Dunne - who signed a new contract with the club this summer - and England star Micah Richards, however the new recruit could fill a full-back role.
Admitting to his interest in the versatile defender yesterday, Hughes said: "With so many games to play this season it is important to get the balance right.
"Last season the team was weakened when Micah Richards and Richard Dunne were not in it. We are trying to address that."
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