The agent of Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has admitted that there is serious interest in the Belgian from Turkey, with Besiktas known to be extremely keen to secure his services ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Eris Kismet, the man responsible for handling Benteke’s affairs, was speaking about the striker’s future following reports that Palace are now open to the idea of selling him this summer, after a campaign in which the big man only managed to notch three goals for the first-team despite starting regularly.
Whilst he was quick to talk up the interest Besiktas have in doing a deal, Kismet admitted that Palace’s demands (between £17-20 million) would almost certainly prove too much for the Turkish side to even consider. Whether or not this was an attempt to get into the heads of the Palace hierarchy, only the man himself will know but given Benteke’s pedigree, it would seem a tad foolish for the club to accept anything less, regardless of his barren run in front of goal.
There was also some talk of a potential loan deal being struck but in truth, I struggle to see how such a deal would be beneficial for any of the parties involved. With Palace keen to recoup a chunk of the £30 million fee they splashed out for Christian, Benteke himself likely to want his long-term future resolved and Besiktas unlikely to pay his current £100,000-a-week wage packet, that move feels like a total non-starter at first glance.
If I were to guess, I’d suggest that Kismet’s comments have been designed to inform the Palace board that he and his client are open to a move, should something feasible be presented to them. Having been left out of Roberto Martinez’s 23-man World Cup squad, it’s fair to say that Christian will be looking to hit the ground running in August, if he’s unlikely to have the full backing of Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace, I can’t say that I blame him for considering a move away.