If any clubs are interested in picking up Christian Benteke or any other members of Liverpool’s first-team squad, Jürgen Klopp made it clear that those players will not be sold cheaply. There's still virtually a month to go in the summer transfer window—a period of increasingly ludicrous transfer deals with the new TV rights deal for Premier League clubs. There seems to bemore money for all, and in this new frontier of excess, Liverpool will receive their share of extra income from the transfer market.
‘‘If there are clubs that want a real striker from us, they have to make real offers and not hope for anything else,’’ Klopp affirmed. ‘‘We’ll find solutions. If somebody wants a player from us then he has to pay because we only have good players. There are no presents.”
That’s a perfectly clear message to clubs interested in Christian Benteke. With all due respect to Mario Balotelli—a striker who often attracts a lot of unfair critcism—clubs hardly seem interested in paying a fee for him let alone going some way to match his current salary. Crystal Palace made what appeared to be a solid second bid of £31.5 million, of which £27 million was guaranteed with the rest in add-ons, only to be turned down. £30 million guaranteed is what Liverpool are demanding for a talented striker who just isn't the right fit for the manager or the club's best attacking weapons.
Benteke would, however, be perfect for a direct Crystal Palace side with plenty of pace, width, and directness in the form of Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend, and Jason Puncheon. Alan Pardew could get a striker that will provide him with the reliable goalscorer the club has needed for years. Palace should comfortably stay in the Premier League but need to take the next step. What's more, that disastrous run of form last season could have been halted or interrupted with the quality that a player like Benteke could bring. This is no sales pitch; there are a few Premier League clubs that would find a talismanic presence in the 25-year-old. The question is whether they'll pay for it.
Although Balotelli is finding a move away from the club difficult to secure, Liverpool don't appear to be a club that will easily accept the first credible offer that arrives. This is the approach Tottenham Hotspur have taken in selling players, even ones that don't seem to be particularly in demand. Maybe there will be a time to relent and accept an offer in an attempt to cut any losses, but it certainly won't be the first course of action. Developing a reputation as a club that sells unwanted or reserve players for good money can only benefit the club. The sales of Joe Allen, Jordon Ibe, and Brad Smith indicate that Liverpool are moving in the right direction.