The 36-year-old is expected to sign a one-year contract with the Israeli club. The move has been talked about a lot in recent weeks. Despite having agreed personal terms and undergone a medical with Maccabi Tel Aviv,Benayoun’s move was put on hold due to various reasons. The Israeli club were hoping to appoint a new manager before the arrival of the former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder.Benayoun has been at Maccabi Haifa for the last two seasons, but he left the club in difficult circumstances.
Even though he was a key figure in helping the club win their first title after a gap of five years while also being successful in the State Cup after five years, he was told to leave the club back in September.Benayoun reportedly fell out with owner Jacob Shachar. Unhappy with his treatment, the midfielder announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season. He has followed up by talking with Maccabi Tel Aviv to make them as his new home. Talks have progressed as expected and the move is expected to be concluded before the end of this week.
“I came to Haifa with the intention of ending my career here, but things change in soccer. There is no other player in Israel who would have coped with what I coped with this season,” said the midfielder after helping Maccabi Haifa win the cup final. Benayoun was a major fan favourite at the club as he represented them from 1998 to 2002 before moving onto European football with the likes of Racing Santander. His big break came with West Ham and subsequent spells at the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea were also successful.