After having had their £25M offer for Christian Benteke rejected by Liverpool late last week, Crystal Palace are returning with an improved offer that could see the south London club pay as much as £31.5M for the Liverpool striker signed from Aston Villa last summer.
The improved bid, according to multiple sources, would include a guaranteed £27M plus £4.5M in add-ons that could see the total paid eclipse the £30M Liverpool are believed to be holding out for. While the Reds wouldn’t but assured of receiving that full amount, it is difficult to imagine them turning down the offer.
Liverpool paid £32.5M last summer to trigger Benteke’s release clause after then manager Brendan Rodgers identified the Aston Villa man as his top transfer target, overruling the transfer committee’s preferred choice, Carlos Bacca, who in the end moved to AC Milan in a £22.5M deal.
In the end, with Aston Villa refusing to negotiate and with Rodgers having been given assurances Liverpool would pay what it took to land Benteke in exchange for signing off on the acquisition of Roberto Firmino, Liverpool paid the gargantuan sum along with £120-140k per week in wages to bring him in.
With rumours that West Ham remain interested in Benteke and having failed to land Michy Batshuayi, Palace appear to be moving quickly to ensure they don’t miss out on Benteke, preparing a bid that not only shows just how serious they are but also illustrates the impact of increasing revenues on transfer fees.
Additionally, rumour has it that Palace do not believe wages will be an issue that would hold up a deal, suggesting they will be willing to at least match what Liverpool have been paying Benteke. And with that, if the reports are accurate, there now seems every chance of a deal getting done quickly.