After being bombed out of Euro-2016 at the hands of a dominant Wales side, there’s expected to be a lot of movement from the Belgium squad in the next couple of days with the transfer window now well and truly open and the player’s national team commitments no longer a worry.
On Sunday we saw Chelsea snatch up highly rated youngster Michy Batshuayi from French side Marseille on a five year deal, but he won’t be the only Red Devil on the move with fellow Londoner’s Crystal Palace aiming to add some distinctly Belgian flavor to their squad in the form of Liverpool striker Christian Benteke. With a bid of £25mil already rejected by the Anfield outfit, the Eagles are expected to come back with an improved offer – one could see the 25-year old pack his bags and head for the Capital.
“I still have a contract at Liverpool and I’d like to stay there, if I remain in the coach’s plans,” said Benteke prior to the Euros. “If that’s not the case, it will become difficult to stay”, he added bluntly. “When Klopp arrived I saw that I wasn’t in his plans. That was frustrating because I knew that during my first season at Aston Villa he wanted me,” mused the 25-year old. “But we had several discussions together – I respect and I understand his decisions,” continued the hit-man. “I’ll think about if after the Euros.”
Falling even further down the depth charts now that Southampton speedster Sadio Mane has arrived, whether or not he stays at Anfield may no longer be a decision that he can make. Palace, for their part, are reportedly willing to make him their record signing with Eagles boss Alan Pardew ready to up their offer to £31.5mil to secure his services – which would see the Reds re-coup all but £1mil of the exorbitant fee they paid out to Villa last summer. With an initial payment said to be £27mil on the table and the usual add-ons for appearances and whatnot making up the difference, this might be the perfect move for all involved parties.
More on this as it progresses…