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Aug 6, 2012

Ben Haim stands firm

Tal Ben Haim is refusing to give up on his £3 million claim against Portsmouth because he does not believe the club will go into liquidation.

• Ben Haim key to Pompey survival

Administrator Trevor Birch has repeatedly warned that Pompey could go out of business this month and that, as a result, it would be in Ben Haim's best interests to accept a compromise deal.

But a close associate of the Israeli defender told ESPN: "He does not believe it. He has heard it all before that Pompey will go out of business. It won't happen."

Pompey have managed to offload many of their best-paid players, with Erik Huseklepp, Greg Halford and Dave Kitson among those to have moved on in recent weeks, but both Ben Haim and Nwankwo Kanu are demanding millions in back pay.

Birch intends to hold final talks with Bel Haim's agent in the next two days in an effort to resolve the issue. If it cannot be resolved, he fears the club will close.

He told ESPN: "Kitson has now left the club and Liam Lawrence is genuinely trying to sort out his issues, which then leaves Tal Ben Haim. Kanu has left but his claim remains, although we are getting close to resolving that one. His agent is now talking and I believe we can get there.

"Ben Haim, though, has a deal on the table but he has taken a view and doesn't appear to be shifting. He might think it's a game of bluff and the club won't close, but I think he will very soon find out that it is real."

Ben Haim, though, is willing to keep talking to see whether a compromise can be reached on his wages - which are close to the £40,000-a-week mark - but is in no mood to walk out on his lucrative contract.

The source added: "He might walk away if he had a club to go to, but as yet there is no club."

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