According to a report in The Evening Standard, Crystal Palace are open to the idea of selling striker Christian Benteke over the course of the summer transfer window, should a suitably large bid come in for him.
The Belgian was dealt the bitter blow of missing out on Roberto Martinez’s 23-man World Cup squad yesterday and now, after a Premier League campaign in which he managed to bag just three goals for the Eagles, it sounds as though his domestic future is far from certain either.
Whilst the former Aston Villa and Liverpool man proved to be a big hit at Selhurst Park during his 17-goal debut season, the tactics employed last term under both Frank de Boer and Roy Hodgson failed to focus on the big man’s strengths, leaving him devoid of confidence.
With Alexander Sørloth having arrived in January and Connor Wickham believed to be primed and ready for a return to first-team action from August onwards, the gaffer now has three striking options who offer much the same in terms of their physical presence at the head of the side, highlighting why he and the club’s board may well be open to waving Benteke goodbye in the next few weeks.
Aside from Christian’s barren run in front of goal, his weekly wage in excess of £100,000-a-week was used as a stick to beat both he and the Palace hierarchy with at various points last term, prompting many to wonder whether or not it would be worth cutting our losses and reallocating the six-figure weekly sum into two or three new recruits’ pay-packets over between now and the transfer deadline.
Benteke was known to be a target for clubs in the Chinese Super League last season and whilst that interest is unlikely to have died away completely the final decision over a move will ultimately still rest with the man himself. At the time of writing he seems to be more than happy to remain in SE25 but if Palace do start publicly looking for buyers, he may start to feel as though the time is right to move on.