Belfast Telegraph

Benayoun in no hurry on future

Midfielder Yossi Benayoun will not decide on his future until the end of the season, but hopes Arsenal and Chelsea both qualify for next season's Champions League.

Benayoun is on a season-long loan at the Gunners from Chelsea and, at present, his temporary club seem the more likely to qualify for Europe's major domestic competition. He scored the third goal in Wednesday's 3-0 win at Wolves which put Arsene Wenger's side five points clear of fourth-placed Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League.

Benayoun said: "I think it is difficult to speak now about the future. It's better to concentrate on the five weeks that are left of the season and do my best for the club. I am fully committed to Arsenal and after that we will see. After June 30, I am going back to Chelsea and then the club decides and I need to decide also."

Former Liverpool player Benayoun added: "I will not lie. I love Chelsea because I have a good relationship there. I didn't play much because I had a big injury. I still have a lot of friends there I talk to every day. Of course, I want them to do well but it is difficult. I am committed to Arsenal 100% and I don't think about Chelsea or another team.

"I want first Arsenal to finish in the top three and, if it depended on me, I want Chelsea to finish in the top four and Liverpool also to finish in the top four. But it can't happen."

Benayoun concedes he had to leave Stamford Bridge, at least in the short term, because he felt he would not get many opportunities under then manager Andre Villas-Boas.

He said: "I have a good relationship with the owners at Chelsea and, when I decided to take this step, Roman Abramovich gave me the permission to do what I want and choose the team to go to.

"I was negotiating with three teams, but as soon as I heard Arsenal were in, I knew it was a big chance for me. I knew that with Villas-Boas, I felt I would not get enough credit, although I felt good in the pre-season and I did a few good games, so I took the decision (to go on loan).

"I have not played as much as I would want but it is great to be at a club like Arsenal. The dressing room is so great and to be at a big club is always nice."


From Belfast Telegraph