Liverpool are reportedly in danger of messing up striker Christian Benteke’s move to Crystal Palace by refusing to budge on their exorbitant asking price for the Belgian hitman. While the club is keen to recoup much of the £32.5mil they paid newly relegated Aston Villa for his services last summer, a number of major media outlets are now reporting that nothing but the full fee will be enough to convince the Anfield outfit to do business.
That, of course, could be a massive mistake. Although Benteke’s agent has been keen to play down any potential move to London by reasserting that his client is willing to fight for his place on Merseyside, it’s looked almost certain for some time that the 25-year old will be plying his trade elsewhere before September rolls around. Speaking ahead of the European Championships, the player himself has already said that he’ll find it hard to remain with Liverpool if his playing time doesn’t improve — and it’s highly unlikely that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Having just signed a new bumper six year deal, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is keen to bring in players that will suit his all-action, high intensity brand of football and was reportedly banking on the sale of Benteke — a player who despite his many talents does not fit this description — for additional funds to do just that. The Eagles, for their part, remain interested in signing the big Belgian with personal terms already rumoured to be agreed between the two, but should talks not progress soon, they could pull out of negotiations. Having already stated an interest earlier in the window, West Ham United were too put off by not only his asking price, but also his wage demands.
“There are 20 or 30 clubs in Europe, all with money, looking for a striker,” said Hammers co-owner David Sullivan earlier this week when asked about Benteke. “And when you have a club like Crystal Palace will to pay £125-130k a week to a guy at Liverpool [Christian Benteke], you do think [the market] has gone barmy.”