Liverpool and Crystal Palace remain in talks to sign striker Christian Benteke, but their second formal offer has not gone down well at Anfield.
Reports emerged yesterday that Palace had made a second bid for the Belgian international, having seen a £25m bid rejected earlier in the summer.
The propsed £30.5m deal, which contained a guaranteed £23.5m plus a further £7m in add-ons, was apparently not even considered by the Liverpool owners, such was their level of contempt for what the Eagles were offering.
Liverpool have demanded £32.5m for the 25-year-old, the same fee that they paid Aston Villa for his services last summer, but would be prepared to do business if the bid was at least realistic.
However, the Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe has revealed the details of the add-ons being suggested by the interested party – and they would be dependent on the Eagles qualifying for the Champions League.
£2.5m would be owed to Liverpool should Crystal Palace make the top four with Benteke playing in 70% of the Premier League matches that season and scoring at least 20 goals.
Liverpool, understandably, didn’t consider that realistic and have told Palace to come back with a better package to tempt them into selling.
The bid has been met bemusement with Liverpool fans. frustrated that Palace have made another lowball offer for Benteke…
The add ons in Palace’s latest Benteke offer are a joke. 20 goals, appear in 70% of games and Champions League? Sod off.
— Olé (@Ole_LFC) August 16, 2016
I heard something funny today. Palace to reach the Champions League! ? #Benteke
— Markus Stempy (@Stempy78) August 17, 2016
Crystal palace actually think they can make it to the champions league !?!? ??????? joke of the year !
— Gabi771 (@Gabi771_LFC) August 17, 2016
Even some Palace fans joined in:
Liverpool’s owners seeing that our Benteke bid contained a champions league clause. pic.twitter.com/8fwFeEyJax
— e-Crystal Palace (@e_crystalpalace) August 17, 2016
Manager Jurgen Klopp has already said that Benteke won’t be “a present” for another club, and has hinted that he would be quite happy to keep the misfit forward if their valuation is not met.
However, the report stresses that the move is still expected to go ahead. Benteke has already expressed his willingness to move to Selhurst Park as he knows he needs to leave to further his career.
All parties in this deal want it to go ahead, so it seems almost certain that Crystal Palace will come back with a new offer, one that is far closer to Liverpool’s asking price. That said, the clock is ticking on this transfer window.