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Crystal Palace and West Ham chasing Christian Benteke after Batshuayi snub – report

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Crystal Palace and West Ham United are said to be preparing bids for out-of-favour Liverpool striker Christian Benteke.

Palace and West Ham had both been pursuing moves to sign Marseille talent Michy Batshuayi, but with the 22-year-old likely to join Antonio Conte’s Chelsea this summer, their sights have shifted.

Alan Pardew’s side had agreed a £31 million fee for Batshuayi on Monday, but the Blues issued an improved bid the following day, turning Palace attentions to Benteke.

That is according to the Mirror, who claim that both Palace and West Ham are exploring the possibility of signing Benteke.

Both sides are in need of a proven, top-level centre-forward, and Benteke would provide an ideal solution.

With Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp having already added to his attacking options with a £30 million move for Sadio Mane, he will likely look to recoup much of this fee by sanctioning Benteke’s departure.

Benteke is behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings in Klopp’s attacking pecking order, while Roberto Firmino was also preferred to the former Aston Villa man in 2015/16.

For the striker, who is currently with Batshuayi and the rest of the Belgium squad at Euro 2016, a move away from Merseyside would provide a much-needed outlet.

Far from a gamble for Palace or West Ham, Benteke simply struggled to adjust to Klopp’s high-intensity attacking ideals, and slotting into a more direct, physical system would suit his qualities.

Having signed Benteke for £32.5 million last summer, the Reds are likely to seek a similar fee ahead of 2016/17, though his £120,000-a-week wages may prove a stumbling block.

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