Mac TA picks up promising striker Ben-Haim from Reds

Ben-Haim’s vast potential has been obvious from a young age, but he has only shown flashes of it so far in his career.

June 25, 2013 23:51
1 minute read.
ISRAELI STRIKER Tal Ben-Haim (right) completed a shock move from Hapoel TA to arch-rival Maccabi TA

Tal Ben Haim 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

One of the most controversial transfers in recent years was completed on Tuesday, with Tal Ben-Haim moving from Hapoel Tel Aviv to archrival Maccabi Tel Aviv, signing a four-year deal with the reigning champion.

Just a day after selling last season’s top scorer Eliran Atar to French club Stade de Reims for a transfer fee estimated at $1.8 million, Maccabi secured Ben-Haim’s services, paying 1.1 million euro, with Maccabi Petah Tikva retaining a 25 percent stake of the proceeds from the forward’s next transfer.

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Despite playing for Hapoel last season, Petah Tikva controlled Ben-Haim’s destiny as it only sold a 25 percent stake to the Reds last summer.

Hapoel could have matched Maccabi’s offer but chose not to and received 375,000 euro for the transfer of the 23-year-old.

Ben-Haim’s vast potential has been obvious from a young age, but he has only shown flashes of it so far in his career, scoring 24 goals in five years at Petah Tikva before netting seven goals in 30 appearances for Hapoel last season.

“As soon as we had an opportunity to buy a player with the qualities of Tal Ben- Haim we decided to complete the deal and add him to our squad,” Maccabi’s sports director Jordi Cruyff told the club’s website. “We are certain that Tal will strengthen the team and help it achieve its goals.”

Maccabi and Ben-Haim will already leave for a training camp in Austria on Thursday ahead of the start of the yellow- and-blue’s European campaign.

Maccabi was drawn on Monday to face Gyori ETO of Hungary in the Champions League second qualifying round, with the first leg to take place on July 17.

Meanwhile, the State Attorney’s office announced on Tuesday that it has decided to close the investigation against Israel Football Association chairman Avi Luzon in suspicion of match fixing.

The case was closed due to a lack of evidence, although the police insisted all along that there was sufficient proof.

“We welcome the State Attorney’s decision to close the case,” an IFA press release read. “The IFA and its chairman never had any doubt that there was no truth to the accusations.”

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