Chelsea chief: Ben Haim signing up

Chelsea are expected to clinch the Bosman signing of Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim, despite interest from Newcastle United.

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Peter Kenyon, the FA Cup holders' chief executive, was quoted in Israel yesterday as saying: "Ben Haim will arrive, we will discuss his contract and finalise the last details and we hope that he will sign the contract by tomorrow."

Although Ben Haim's former manager at Bolton, Sam Allardyce, is planning a last-ditch effort to tempt him to Newcastle United, sources close to the player said yesterday that he had made up his mind.

"Tal will sign at Chelsea, not because of the money but because of footballing reasons," one source told the Guardian. "He wants to play in the Champions League. He is not afraid of competition and believes he can gain a place with the first team."

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