Crystal Palace are willing to sell striker Christian Benteke this summer if the right offer comes in for the out of favour Belgian.
According to a report in The Sun, The Eagles need to raise funds so that they can make new attacking signings, and are willing to listen to offers for Benteke.
The 31-year-old was in and out of the side last season and was recently left out of Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad, so is keen to play regularly ahead of the World Cup this winter.
It’s unlikely he will get enough minutes at Selhurst Park so it seems best for all parties that he moves on.
Benteke has just one year remaining on his contract, and at £120k-per-week, he is Palace’s second highest-paid player. It’s unlikely they will extend his current deal, but they may struggle to offload him before then given his hefty salary.
He’s amongst a host of players who were unable to travel on Palace’s pre-season tour of Singapore and Australia because they do not meet the entry requirements. So if he does end up staying then he won’t have had a proper pre-season under his belt.
Last season he scored just four goals in 31 appearances, and with his weekly earnings that high, it means he cost the Eagles a staggering £1.5m per goal. For this reason alone Patrick Vieira must ruthlessly axe him.
He’s been described in the past by Alan Shearer as “scared to miss” and given his form last season it’s hard to disagree.
Given that sum, it’s also easy to see why Palace are unwilling to invest in another striker until Benteke is offloaded. If they did manage to get him off the wage bill then it would free up a lot of room for further additions.
The Eagles must also make sure that they keep hold of their star man Wilfried Zaha. He was their top scorer last season, with loanee Conor Gallagher in second place.
Gallagher has now returned to his parent club Chelsea, so Palace will be without his goals next season which further highlights their need to sign another goalscorer.
Vieira will be hoping that their latest addition Cheick Doucoure can replace what they’ve lost, but it may not be enough and they don’t want to risk having to rely on Benteke.