Ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder set for Championship?

In a bid to get himself back in the Israel team, Yossi Benayoun looks poised to join a team in the second tier

After months without finding a club, it now appears that former Chelsea playmaker Yossi Benayoun is set to drop down into the Championship in order to find action.

The Israeli, now 33, has been without a club since leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of last season, after a failed loan spell at his former club West Ham United, and appears ready to join a promotion-chasing side in the Championship in order to play in the Premier League once again.

A move back to Spain – where Benayoun made his name with Racing Santander – fell through, with both Getafe and Malaga reportedly interested, and his agent Ronen Katsav reportedly told the Daily Mail that his client is considering a move to the Championship – if the offer is right.

Despite speculation that Charlton and Brighton have also enquired about Benayoun's availability, the former Liverpool and Arsenal man is believed to only be interested in a move to a team challenging for promotion, which has triggered interest from QPR, Leicester and Watford.

With 93 international caps to his name, Benayoun is just two caps away from beating Arik Benado's appearance record for Israel, and whilst he has spent the last few months training with former side Maccabi Haifa in a bid to stay fit, Benayoun has now been dropped by manager Eli Guttman, who wants his players to be playing regularly at domestic level – prompting Benayoun to seek football immediately.

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The backing of Tony Fernandes gives QPR an advantage in terms of offering Benayoun the most attractive deal, especially when you consider that manager Harry Redknapp has been linked with a move for the attacking midfielder before, whilst he was with Spurs. If that interest was legitimate, then Benayoun could be the man to boost QPR's attack, as the R's sit second in the Championship table – despite scoring just 12 goals in 10 games.

Ambitious Watford could be a suitable destination for Benayoun, given manager Gianfranco Zola's philosophy, whilst Leicester recently had to slash their wage bill in order to meet Financial Fair Play rules, making them the least likely team to sign Benayoun at this stage – especially considering that Benayoun was reportedly earning £90,000 a week at Chelsea, though his demands will naturally decrease as a result of being without a team.

Premier League clubs are still permitted to sign free agents despite being outside of the transfer window, if they have room in their squad, and whilst Crystal Palace were linked with a late move for the Israeli in August, it seems that he's set for a stint in the Championship as he looks to re-establish himself.

image: © wonker

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