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Club issue Benjani denial

Manchester City have tonight corrected press speculation that Benjani Mwaruwari has completed his transfer to the club from Portsmouth.

Some news organisations have this evening claimed in unattributed stories that the Portsmouth striker has joined the Blues.

However a club spokesman said: "No deal has been completed. Manchester City remain in contact with the football authorities regarding this potential transfer, and any further developments will be announced first on"

MCFC Stats raise a number of questions regarding the whole Benjani deal, or sorry mess as it should more accurately be referred to as four days after the transfer window deadline passed, we are seemingly no nearer to resolving the transfer.

We are led to believe that the majority of documentation was faxed across to the relevant area, but not all of it to complete the transfer. So, and what seems to have got lost in all of this, is that surely the transfer cannot be completed? There is a reason for a deadline, and once this passes, no further transfers can be completed. Or is that far too simple?

Now, reading the statement the club have put out, it does not (and something they have yet to do) state that we are being proactive in signing him or even confirm we want to sign him. Sven has come out and said he would like to sign the player but reports appear to be suggesting that we are seeking to renegotiate the terms of the deal, again something that surely contradicts the purpose of a deadline for the transfer window and sets a worrying precedent?

Despite Harry Redknapp's platitudes today, it is clear that Portsmouth would much rather rid themselves of Benjani to get the money in to fund the signing of Defoe, but whether they felt they were being railroaded or not, on the face of it it looks as though we are now playing hardball over the transfer - perhaps trying to get ourselves out of a deal that shouldn't have been agreed in the first place?

Whether or not you agree that Benjani would be a good fit for us (something I am still to be convinced of), the one person in this saga that is currently going on is left in limbo, unable to play or even train and in some respects is now without a club. Whilst both ourselves and Portsmouth are appearing to wriggle in and out of the deal, he is left, through no fault of his own, kicking his heels.

Perhaps it is a sign of the ever increasing power that clubs hold over the Premier League in the current climate in that all of the talk is coming from the clubs, whereas surely it is upto the Premier League to hand down jurisdiction on this issue - yet (unsuprisingly given their track record over arbitration matters) they of course remain silent and unwilling to act within their power.

Whatever the final outcome over the Benjani transfer (and I believe the transfer will be sanctioned) someone involved in this need to stand up and make a decision. Soon.