Boy is this Christian Benteke to Crystal Palace deal dragging on.
According to numerous reports on Tuesday, Palace have had an offer of $29.8 million (which will rise to $38.9 million) rejected by Liverpool.
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Benteke, 25, joined Liverpool for $42 million from Aston Villa last summer but scored just 10 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions last season.
It is believed the player is keen to switch to Crystal Palace and the Eagles are eager to wrap up the deal but Liverpool aren’t budging on the deal.
Alan Pardew wants Benteke to become the focal point of Palace’s attack and after they sold Yannick Bolasie to Everton for $33 million on Monday, they need a new talisman. With Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha whipping in crosses and Yohan Cabaye pulling the strings in an advanced position in central midfield, Benteke could thrive at Palace.
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During his time at Villa he largely had to do it on his own, scoring 42 goals in 89 PL appearances before his big money move to Anfield under former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. However, when Jurgen Klopp arrived Benteke tumbled down the pecking order and the German coach even publicly berated him following a 3-2 defeat at Southampton last season.
With Liverpool knowing that Palace have money to spend after selling Bolasie, plus new American investors who have promised to plow more money into the south London club, they aren’t eager to get this deal done quickly.
This is now a game of poker.
Benteke will not play for Liverpool under Klopp and Klopp isn’t going anywhere. Liverpool will sell Benteke right at the end of the transfer window if they have to, hoping Palace or another team becomes desperate and meets their asking price of over $42 million outright.
Over to you, once again, Palace…