Soccer: Benayoun chooses QPR trial over move to Malaga

The 33-year-old Israeli is believed to still be leaning towards Spain at this point.

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF
November 19, 2013 03:44
1 minute read.
Yossi Benayoun.

Yossi Benayoun 370. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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After almost a month of deliberation, Yossi Benayoun has decided to take a short trial at Queens Park Rangers rather than accept a lucrative offer from Spanish club Malaga.

The move, first reported by The Daily Mail, comes after speculation that the 33-year-old Israeli was set to sign an 18-month deal with the La Liga and Champions League quarter-finalist rather than take his talents to Harry Redknapp's English Championship side for a three-day trial.

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It is believed that Benayoun is still leaning towards Spain at this point. The Malaga offer is reportedly worth up to £65,000 a week, and unless QPR matches that, it could lose out.

However, this latest decision at least gives the second-most capped played in Israel national team history (93) some time to figure out if he will mesh into a QPR roster that already features notable talents Joey Barton, Andrew Johnson, Richard Dunne and Niko Kranjcar.

“The Malaga option is still on the agenda, but for the moment this is what I am doing,” said Benayoun.

While Benayoun is no longer the two-way force he once was, a spate of injuries impacting his production over the past few years, the former Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham United midfielder still has enough in the tank to play a contributing role to a club.

His 24 goals for Israel are tied (with Yehoshua Feigenbaum) for second on the all-time list, behind Mordechai Spiegler’s 33, and since making his debut in 1998, and taking the captain’s armband in 2009, Benayoun has been the heart of the program.



In 512 appearances in English soccer over all competitions, including a stint on-loan to Arsenal in 2011/12, Benayoun has tallied 44 goals.

Redknapp, Benayoun’s former manager at West Ham, has had his eye on his former player for some time in his effort to bring QPR back to the top-flight after being demoted from the Premiership following last season.

“I know his abilities and he’s a really good player. A midfielder with his quality could really help us,” Redknapp said last week.

The Rangers are currently tied for second-place in the second-tier Championship, two points behind leader Burnley.

Benayoun has been a free agent since parting ways with Chelsea in the summer after his three-year contract ended.

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