Rumour Mill: Atletico Madrid join Juventus & West Ham in race to sign Christian Benteke

As Christian Benteke’s move away from Liverpool becomes increasingly likely, La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid have been linked with a summer bid.

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Benteke’s £32.5 million move to Liverpool last summer represents more of a misguided gamble by the Reds hierarchy by the week, with the ex-Aston Villa man heavily rumoured to leave the club at the end of the season.

After West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan confirmed his interest in signing the Belgian, two other clubs are believed to have joined the race.

According to the Mirror, Diego Simeone’s Atletico are considering a summer move for Benteke, while Juventus are also listed as a possible destination.

Liverpool are said to have made suitors “aware that he is available for transfer this summer,” sparking interest from around Europe.

Atletico are believed to have identified Benteke as a potential partner for fellow target Diego Costa.

Benteke is unlikely to come cheap, however, with Liverpool said to be looking to recoup as much of their £32.5 million outlay from last summer as possible, though they will no doubt take a hit on that figure.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 30, 2016: Liverpool's Christian Benteke looks dejected after missing a chance against West Ham United during the FA Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though Benteke is the club’s second-highest goalscorer for the 2015/16 campaign so far, with eight goals in 35 appearances, his struggle to adapt to life under Jurgen Klopp has been clear, with Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino all ahead of him in the pecking order.

This led to a frustrated outburst from the 25-year-old while on international duty with Belgium, which has increased the likelihood of a summer departure.

“What’s annoying me the most, is that I would have never signed for Liverpool if I wasn’t the manager’s first choice,” he said.

“Everything was there to play a good season at a big club. And it started well, [but] I am the first to admit that I haven’t shown enough my worth for a team like Liverpool.

“On the other hand, under Brendan Rodgers, I knew I would get the opportunity to show my qualities, to show that I was worth the money and that I deserved to wear the shirt of Liverpool. But now?”

Benteke has since returned to Liverpool after suffering an injury on Thursday.

With just nine league games until the end of the season, Benteke has little time to prove his worth to Klopp.