After having their first £25M offer turned down and their second, a base £23.5M with a further £7M in add-ons, similarly rejected, reports today claim that Crystal Palace’s third offer for Liverpool striker Christian Benteke has been accepted and that the played will now travel to London to undergo a medical and complete his move.
According to the BBC, Liverpool Echo, and connected journalists including Paul Joyce of The Express and Tony Barrett of The Times, a base fee of £27M has been agreed along with £5M in add-ons that if triggered could see the deal rise to £32M. Pictures of Benteke leaving a London hospital and, shortly afterwards, official confirmation come next.
It is likely that Benteke will officially be a Crystal Palace player by, if not Friday, then at some point on the weekend at the very latest. However, it is unlikely that Palace would be able to complete the deal in time to register Benteke to face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in their second game of the 2016-17 Premier League season.
Benteke arrived at Liverpool last summer from Aston Villa after the club triggered his £32.5M release clause. Brendan Rodgers had identified the big striker as his top summer transfer target and pushed through his purchase over the objections of the transfer committee. Unfortunately, Bentke failed to ever find his footing at Anfield.
His struggles likely contributed to Rodgers’ subsequent downfall and the arrival of Jürgen Klopp. Klopp gave Benteke a handful of chances, but it never looked a good fit, and had Benteke remained he would have been fifth on Liverpool striker depth chart behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings, and midfielder Roberto Firmino.
In total, he made 42 Liverpool appearances across all competitions and scored 10 goals. Without his services, Aston Villa struggled and found themselves relegated to the Championship. While things didn’t work out for him at Anfield, hopefully the 25-year-old can find his way again under Alan Pardew at Palace.