Although the scuttlebutt earlier in the summer was that Crystal Palace had already agreed to personal terms with Liverpool striker Christian Benteke before seeing their offer of £25mil rejected by the Reds, that doesn’t appear to be the case at all with Eagles boss Alan Pardew explaining that the deal is far from finished.
“He’ll have his medical today but personal terms have to be done. We’ve agreed everything with Liverpool,” said the veteran manager, speaking to the press yesterday. “We’ve lost Mile and Yannick – both big figures at this club. We need to replace them with others,” continued the former Palace player. “Benteke is someone I know very well as I wanted to take him to Newcastle,” revealed Pardew, before adding, “It just didn’t work out for him at Liverpool.”
While it’s believed that a the Belgian made it through his medical without any problems, the fact that they’re still hashing out terms is worrying. Benteke, of course, is on massive wages with the Anfield outfit that smaller sides — with all due respect to the Eagles — could find hard to match. Again referencing paper talk from last month, various media outlets have reported that the Croydon club are prepared to match what he was making on Merseyisde, but that could be a sticking point now that they’ve been forced to shell out more than they wanted to pry him away from Liverpool.
The Reds insisted on more than one occasion that they weren’t going to give him away cheaply after former boss Brendan Rodgers spent £32mil to draft him in only last year and in holding out they seem to have got exactly what they wanted with Palace stumping up an initial payment of £27mil and up to £5mil in add-ons. Money may not be the sticking point for the 25-year old though — he’s known to harbour ambitions of playing at the top so things like release clauses, sell-on fees, relegation assurances and the like could be what’s holding things up.