West Brom lead chase for Benayoun amid interest from Spain and Germany

The former West Ham, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder has been a free agent since the end of last season, and is currently mulling over an offer from the Baggies
By Ed Aarons

West Bromwich Albion are set to offer free agent Yossi Benayoun a one-year deal but face a fight to land the former Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham midfielder, Goal.com can reveal.

Benayoun’s €105,000-a-week contract at Stamford Bridge expired at the end of last season and the Israel international has since been weighing up his options. He would prefer to extend his stay in the Premier League into a ninth season, although he has also attracted interest from La Liga, the Bundesliga and the MLS.

Championship side Reading have made signing the 33-year-old a priority as they bid to bounce straight back to the top flight after relegation and Benayoun’s agent, Ronen Katzev, has admitted his client will make a decision over his future in the next fortnight.

“West Brom have registered their interest and now we are just waiting to see what other options are available,” he told Goal.

"We have been negotiating with another club in the Premier League and clubs in Germany and Spain so Yossi will have to make a decision very soon. He has been playing in England for a long time now so it has become like a second home to him."

Benayoun joined West Ham from Racing Santander in 2005 for €2.9 million and moved to Liverpool two seasons later. He spent three years at Anfield before making the move to Chelsea in 2010, but he has struggled to earn a starting berth at Stamford Bridge and has been loaned to Arsenal and the Hammers in recent seasons.

West Brom manager Steve Clarke is on the lookout for attacking players to add to his squad this summer, with Peter Odemwingie expected to leave, Jerome Thomas having turned down a new contract in favour of a deal with Premier League new boys Crystal Palace, and Romelu Lukaku likely to return to Chelsea.