10 Jul 2016

Terms Agreed: Liverpool to finally seal £30m transfer for 'terrific' attacker on Monday (or later this week)

Last week, Liverpool reportedly set a £30m price tag for Christian Benteke, and new reports today suggest that Crystal Palace are on the verge of finalising a deal for the beleaguered striker.

On Monday, The Telegraph claimed:

"Liverpool have told Palace to pay £30m for Christian Benteke".

According to The Mirror today:

"Benteke has agreed personal terms with Palace and is desperate to complete his move. A deal will be completed this week, possibly as soon as Monday".

This is great news for both Benteke and Liverpool. The Reds will (hopefully) recoup most of the £32m transfer fee, and Benteke will move to a club where he's actually wanted by the manager.

At Palace, Benteke will be a big fish in a comparatively small pond, just as he was at Villa, and that will probably suit him better.

There is a possible downside, though. As last season showed, the Premier League is becoming increasingly competitive, and Palace are potentially another West Ham, especially if Pardew continues to buy well.

Some fans will scoff at that possibility that Palace - who finished 18 points behind Liverpool last season in 15th place - may pose a serious threat to Liverpool's top six ambitions, but using West Ham as a comparison:

* 2014-15: West Ham finished 15 points behind Liverpool in 12th place.

* 2015-16: Several astute signings later (Payet, Antonio, Lanzini etc), the Hammers leapfrogged Liverpool (who spent big in the summer) and finished 7th, securing European football at LFC's expense.

Whatever fans may think of Benteke, he is a proven Premier League striker, and under the right guidance, he will bang in the goals. As such, Liverpool are basically strengthening a rival, and potentially sabotaging the club's chances of finishing in the top six.

And make no mistake: the likes of West Ham, Southampton, Everton, Palace, and Stoke are now Liverpool's immediate rivals. It's a sad state of affairs, but until something changes, that's the reality.

^ Described by Steven Gerrard as a 'terrific talent'.


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