During the January transfer window there was speculation of Chelski looking to purchase Israeli stand-out Tal Ben Haim for a mere three million pounds or so. As it was, the Whites had little depth in the back and really couldn't afford to essentially give away an all star for crumbs. Now, instead of giving away an all star for crumbs, we're giving him away, period. Gone. For free. No more Tal Ben Haim. It has been understood for some time that Ben Haim wanted out. It came down to a matter of a paycheck, and as Big Sam said "We can't afford Tal anymore." I guess you can't blame him, but it's still frustrating to see a top class defender like Ben Haim walk away because our chairman won't throw down some more cash. But we can still be bitter about his money grubbing desire.
It is assumed that Ben Haim will be picked up by one of the Big Four as he has the quality to play for them, and they have the funds to pay for him. I could see him moving to the Pool, or Chelski. Personally, I don't see ManUre or the Arse in need of him, although I'm sure Ben Haim would be content to sit on the bench and roll in the dough. If he wasn't, he'd end up staying with the Whites, not making as much, but getting all the playing time he wants.
Tal Ben Haim will almost certainly be starting in the back for Israel when they take on England in Israel in a Euro 2008 qualification map. As Ben Haim sees it the loser of this match will fail to qualify, and although England is the favorite to win, he feels like giving them a run at it.