Christian Benteke’s agent has revealed the striker is still in talks over a new contract at Crystal Palace, with his current deal set to expire over the summer.
What’s the story?
The Belgium international signed a five-year contract when he arrived from Liverpool for £27m back in 2016, and following a rich vein of form, Palace are now looking to extend his stay at Selhurst Park.
His form means that clubs in England and across the continent are taking an interest in Benteke, but his agent Kismet Eris confirmed talks are still ongoing with the Eagles.
“Palace are happy with Benteke,” Eris told Fanatik. “We are still in talks with them. Plus, there are clubs from England and Europe that are showing an interest in him.
“Right now, he’s fully focused on the upcoming Euros. In the winter transfer window, we had an offer from Besiktas, but his contract with Palace was ongoing at the time, so the move never materialised.”
Fans will be buzzing
It’s set to be a summer full of change in south London, with the departure of manager Roy Hodgson confirmed and Patrick van Aanholt expected to be the first of many players following the 73-year-old out the exit door.
Serious injuries to Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson have further complicated what is expected to be a significant rebuild of the capital club over the coming months, meaning the task for Hodgson’s successor is growing by the day.
Therefore, news that Benteke could yet remain at Palace for next season will surely have the club’s supporters buzzing.
When he first arrived on English shores with Aston Villa, Benteke adapted to the top-flight with ease, brushing defenders aside and calming slotting the ball home, earning lavish praise from then manager Paul Lambert.
“He’s one hell of a player, top class, he’s been playing extremely well, and since he’s come to this football club, he’s been a revelation,” said the Scotsman. But the goals dried up in recent years, leaving Benteke as a figure of ridicule.
However, the former Villa and Liverpool forward rediscovered his best form in the campaign just gone, bagging 10 Premier League goals in 30 appearances. That total may not sound astronomical, but put into context, it is an impressive feat.
Benteke’s Palace career got off to a flying start. The £120,000-per-week marksman scored 15 goals in his maiden campaign as he became an instant fan favourite, which makes his haul of just six league goals between 2017/18 and 2019/20 even more baffling.
The 30-year-old’s turnaround in form is quite remarkable then, and with only Wilfried Zaha outscoring the striker this season, his commitment to Palace could be crucial for their future success.