The Daily Mail reports that the Benjani situation has just got even more confusing after Man City pulled out because a medical highlighted some dodgy knee problems for the Zimbabwean striker. On top of all that guff, there are whispers that Benjani doesn’t even want to move, which may see the lawyers rolling in, to try and make sense of the spaghetti junction of red tape and try and sort out Benjani’s future. Mail journo Neil Ashton writes:
“Although League officials confirmed on Friday that the correct documentation arrived from both clubs, their lawyers are sifting through a legal minefield after City refused to go through with the deal.
“City boss Sven Goran Eriksson maintains he wants to sign the Pompey striker but City officials are not convinced the player wants to move.
“Benjani missed the 3.15pm flight from Eastleigh and then, to City’s consternation, the next plane that left at 5pm.
“The following flight to Manchester was cancelled before Benjani arrived on the delayed 8.50, reaching the Carrington complex at 11.10pm for a short, unsatisfactory medical.”
All this opens up the possibility that Benjani might remain a Portsmouth player, something that manager Redknapp isn’t too chuffed about, Redknapp said:
“The worst case scenario is we get Benjani back, but £9m for someone who is nearly 30 is good money. The two deals were tied in. I wouldn’t have got Defoe if I didn’t think Benjani was going.
“I was sitting in the office when Peter Storrie (chief executive) got a call from City and said ‘yes, it’s done’. He was told the forms were being faxed through and the deal was done.
“Peter got our forms faxed off for Defoe with a minute to spare. Then we had a phone call at about 12.30am to say Benjani’s forms hadn’t gone through.
“He’s still in Manchester. He was late getting there and that caused a problem. He knew the night before but he took a long time arriving. We were reluctant to lose him but I still think the deal will go through.”
So the lawyers look like they will be in a complicated battle, and in the meantime Benjani will be twiddling his thumbs, unsure about which team he’ll be playing for and feeling unwanted by both clubs.