In the final months of the 2015-16 season, rumour had it West Ham were the likeliest landing spot for out of favour Liverpool striker Christian Benteke, with the Hammers reportedly willing to pay upwards of £20M to secure the big Belgian’s signature.
Any talk of a West Ham move, though, has since gone quiet, and in the absence of any further talk of Benteke heading to West Ham, The Mirror have concluded that the Liverpool striker is no longer a top target. Instead, West Ham are said to be working to land Alexandre Lacazette.
If reports are to be believed, West Ham have offered Lyon £31M for the 24-year-old French star but it has been rejected, with Lyon holding out for £40M. That would be quite an increase on the £23M reportedly accepted by Lyon from Newcastle in January before the player rejected the move.
In the past, a £40M valuation would have almost certainly sent West Ham back to players further down their list—including possibly Benteke. This season, with the ever-increasing television revenue available to Premier League sides, it does not appear to have scared them off.
Still, even if West Ham were to raise their Lacazette offer to the point Lyon accepted it, there’s the chance Lacazette would refuse the move as he did Newcastle in January, choosing to hold out for a Champions League club. In that case, Benteke could be back on the table.
Liverpool fans will have to hope that happens, as there have been few credible reports of interest in Benteke since the season ended and the player’s £120-140k per week wages represent a significant investment by the club that could likely be better invested elsewhere.