Poor old Christian Benteke.
The Liverpool striker has been frozen out of the Reds’ pre season plans, and had been told by Jurgen Klopp that he’s free to leave Anfield for another club this summer.
There’s been plenty of interest for the former Aston Villa striker, but Klopp is not prepared to let the Belgian leave ‘as a present’, and wants most of the £32 million Brendan Rodgers spent on him back.
Crystal Palace failed with a £25 million bid last month, while Everton, West Ham United and Besiktas have all been credited with interest.
Benteke has fallen behind Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Divock Origi in the battle for the lone striker role, while Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are unlikely to be dropped to accommodate the 25-year-old.
Speaking about the striker, Benteke’s agent, Eris Kismet, told The Guardian:
We are waiting for any news but at this moment there is nothing concrete.
There are several teams interested in signing him so hopefully we can reach a resolution soon.
Alan Pardew is rumoured to be still interested in signing Benteke – why wouldn’t you be when your best striker is Connor Wickham – but there’s been no second bid.
And Klopp has all but confirmed he will block an exit should their valuation fail to be met:
If there are clubs that want a striker from us they have to make real offers and are not hoping for anything else, otherwise we will find solutions.
If there is a need on the other side then go for it – but not as a present. That’s how transfers are.
A few clubs try to gamble but we are not part of the gambling side. We are serious people, and if there is an offer we will think about it.
We will see what happens but at the end if someone wants a player from us he has to pay as we have only good players.
Sounds like Benteke could start the season as a totally unwanted part of the Liverpool squad – which is good news for Mario Balotelli, who is in the exact same position, and might now have a friend in the stands.
The former Manchester City striker has been linked with a return to Italy all summer, and Chievo are the latest name linked with the firework loving 25-year-old, but nothing has yet materialised.
Looks like there’s going to be an expensive car boot sale at Anfield sometime soon.