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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 16:37 UK

Man City sign Ben Haim from Blues

Tal Ben Haim
Ben Haim left Bolton to join Chelsea

Manchester City have completed the signing of centre-back Tal Ben Haim from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee.

The Israeli joined Chelsea on a free transfer from Bolton in June 2007 but has left after failing to establish himself in the first-team set-up.

He has been allowed to leave by new Blues boss Luiz Felipe Scolari and has signed a four-year deal with City.

The 26-year-old's transfer is subject to him gaining a work permit, which should prove a formality.

Ben Haim has made regular appearances for his country, including two matches against England during qualifying for Euro 2008.

He is believed to have cost about 5m and is City's second summer signing after the arrival of Brazilian striker Jo for 18m from CSKA Moscow.

606: DEBATE

Ben Haim will be hoping for more first-team football at Eastlands after just 13 starts for Chelsea last season.

But, while he was competing with John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Alex at Stamford Bridge, he will be battling for a central defensive berth with Richard Dunne and Micah Richards at City.

"I think it's a very good club and a famous club with a lot of ambition," Ben Haim told City's official website.

"I want to win things with this club and I know for many years that hasn't happened. It'll be hard and it takes time to build something.

I spoke with my agent and even though we had some better offers I preferred to come here

Tal Ben Haim

"I know Mark Hughes matches my ambition. As a player he won nearly everything and of course he wants to do the same as a manager.

"He has ambition, the passion and the desire to do that and it matches my ambition because I am like that as well. I want to help City to be a better club and to win something."

He added: "I spoke with my agent and even though we had some better offers I preferred to come here because I think it's a good club with a lot of ambition.

Hughes had hinted to a defensive signing as he recently said: "With so many games to play this season it is important to get the balance right.

"Last season the team was weakened when Micah Richards and Richard Dunne were not in it. We are trying to address that."




see also
Chelsea secure deal for Ben Haim
14 Jun 07 |  Chelsea
Man City complete record Jo deal
03 Jul 08 |  Man City


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