Monday 24 October 2016

Reds' Benteke set to seal Palace switch

Christian Benteke Picture: PA
Christian Benteke Picture: PA

Liverpool striker Christian Benteke has reportedly agreed personal terms with Crystal Palace ahead of a big-money move to South London, although both clubs are yet to finalise the transfer fee.

The Merseyside-based outfit had rejected a £25m bid from the Eagles last week, before they returned with an increased bid, not far off the Reds' £32m asking-price.

Belgium international Benteke, who was with his national squad in France for the European Championships, is reportedly keen on a switch to Palace after having failed to impress the Liverpool faithful sufficiently since his transfer from Aston Villa last summer.

Both parties remain optimistic that a deal could be brokered that would smash Palace's transfer record of £13m paid for Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend earlier this summer.

The club are determined to add a household attacker to their ranks having scored the joint-third fewest in the Premier League last season, and having released strikers Marouane Chamakh and Emmanuel Adebayor and sold Dwight Gayle to Newcastle.

The 25-year-old will compete with Connor Wickham for a starting berth, and considering the level of their investment - with the Belgium due to become their highest earner in history - Palace will be confident of achieving a top 10 finish.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have dropped their interest in signing Mario Gotze from Bayern Munich.

The Germany international is expected to leave the Allianz Arena with Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund keen on wrapping up a £20million deal.

However, Liverpool, who had targeted Gotze earlier in the summer, won't be vying for his signature.

Having completed the £30million capture of Sadio Mane from Southampton, manager Jurgen Klopp is understood to be happy with his attacking options of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings.

Liverpool remain keen to strengthen the squad in other areas but there has been no progress with their pursuit of Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski.

Udinese rejected the Reds' £11.75million bid with the Serie A outfit keen to sell him to Napoli for a similiar fee instead.

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