With Raheem Sterling officially off to Manchester City, the longest running transfer story of the summer for Liverpool fans becomes that of Christian Benteke. The Reds want him, and they don’t want to pay more than £25M for him. Meanwhile, Aston Villa don’t want to sell, and say it will take a triggering of his £32.5M release clause to get him.
So far, it’s been two months of lather, rinse, repeat with only minor variations to the story, and frankly it was all getting a little dull. Queue reports in the Daily Mail that Manchester United have awoken from their slumber and, failing to get much traction with their attempts to land top striker targets Karim Benzema and Harry Kane, are now planning to move for Benteke.
They might even be willing to stump up the full £32.5M, no questions asked, which puts Liverpool in a rather awkward position. Clearly the club rate Benteke, but it’s just as clear they don’t feel he’s worth his full buyout clause. Previously, Tottenham Hotspur had also been interested, but like Liverpool, there had been no suggestion Spurs valued Benteke at £32.5M.
Manchester United, it appears, just might. Which means Liverpool could well be out of time, having reached the stage where they either pay up or move on once and for all. There’s also the chance, though, that suggestions United would be willing to pay Benteke’s release in full could be meant to get Liverpool to move on, at which point United could begin trying to negotiate.
Either way, a pair of encouraging performances by new striker signings Danny Ings and Divock Origi in Liverpool’s first match of pre-season could help to inform the club’s decision—and even if it doesn’t, £32.5M still seems at least 50% more than Christian Benteke is actually worth.
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