Christian Benteke is clearly on his way out of Liverpool. He doesn't start games regularly under Jürgen Klopp, fails to put away big chances when he is eventually called upon, struggles to gel with key attacking components, and has recently expressed his unhappiness with his current situation on Merseyside. It doesn't appear that Klopp or Liverpool will miss him too much when the inevitable occurs this summer, but where will the towering Belgian international striker end up? A possible destination, according to the latest set of rumours, is La Liga outfit Atlético Madrid.
There have been quite a few clubs linked to Benteke in recent weeks, underlining the fact that Liverpoool do possess a player with ability and goal-scoring prowess, if not the style to thrive like recent striking successes at Anfield. Although the 25-year-old is a better player than Andy Carroll, the parallels are striking in terms of fee and style. Carroll remains Liverpool's record signing at £35 million, but the former Aston Villa is only £2.5 million cheaper at £32.5 million. Such a sizeable investment shouldn't be the cause of so much frustration, but unfortunate for Benteke this season, that's how it's all gone down.
Interest from West Ham United has all been confirmed by one of the chairmen himself, but wages remain a stumbling block to any deal. This might not be a problem for Diego Simeone's side with Champions League football and consistently pushing for honours on offer. Simeone is believed to be looking for support for the fabulous Antoine Griezmann after selling Jackson Martínez to the Chinese Super League. Fernando Torres is likely to move on, Luciano Vietto is still finding his feet, and Griezmann could make a big money summer move. Maybe Benteke could be the answer?
Chelsea's Diego Costa is reportedly under consideration by Atléti, too. Any move back to Spain would hinge on the tastes of Antonio Conte, who is believed to have already agreed a deal to take over at Stamford Bridge. If both Costa and Benteke were available and willing to join Simeone in Spain, it would be a surprise to see the struggling Liverpool striker emerge as the preferred option for a manager who values goalscoring consistency, movement, and work rate from his attackers.
Serie A Giants AS Roma and Juventus are also reportedly interested in the striker's services, but a move to West Ham -- with the rock star managerial charms of Slaven Bilić and the sublime talents of Dimitri Payet -- should enable Christian Benteke to thrive. The Hammers are pushing for Champions League qualification and know how to utilise the talents of target men. Andy Carroll, when fit, has impressed during his time in East London, giving hope to the notion that Benteke could make his mark there.
Whether Liverpool will be able to recoup a sizeable portion of the fee paid to Aston Villa last summer is another issue, but it seems almost certain that at least one of Liverpool's strikers will find a new home before the start of next season.