Last month Crystal Palace failed to bring Christian Benteke to London, despite coming to personal terms with the player over wages. The deal stalled when Palace refused to meet Liverpool’s £30 million asking price for the Belgian striker.
In a year where Bournemouth feel comfortable shelling out £15 million for Jordon Ibe (as well as tacking on buy-back and sell-on clauses), Liverpool feel they are in a strong negotiating position when it comes to their fourth-choice striker.
This gulf in valuation between Palace and Liverpool has allowed other teams to start sniffing around Melwood, including cross-town rivals Everton and relegation survival experts Sunderland. The reports come from the Mirror (along with other equally unlikely sources) so take them with a large grain of salt.
Everton already have their very own Belgian striker in Romelu Lukaku, but he might be on his way back to Chelsea if Roman can pony up the eye-watering £75 million asking price. Wait, what? OK, so if Everton sell Lukaku for £75 million, our asking price for Benteke doubles. Kidding. Sort of. The Toffees have reportedly already rejected a £57 million bid from Chelsea last week. Gotta flip those numbers, Roman.
If Benteke doesn’t end up across the park, former Everton boss David Moyes might be keen to bring in another striker to Sunderland.
“I think it’s well documented that we’ve only got one center-forward really in Jermain Defoe,” Moyes said. “We’ve got others who can do the job at other times. But I would like to strengthen in most areas if it comes up.”
So, Sunderland need a striker. We have a striker. Done deal, right?
Given the rumor mongering nature of this report, it’s hard to take seriously. However, there does seem to be a great deal of interest in Benteke, which bodes well for our chances of unloading the striker before the end of the window.