STANFORD, USA - Sunday, July 24, 2016: Liverpool's Christian Benteke during a training session in the Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at Stanford University on day four of the club's USA Pre-season Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Everton emerge as surprise option in Christian Benteke race – reports

Christian Benteke is a surprise target for Liverpool’s city rivals Everton, with the striker valued at £30 million.

The Reds have already fielded a number of bids from Crystal Palace this summer, but are yet to agree a fee with the south London club.

Palace are believed to have offered deals worth £25 million and £31.5 million for the former Aston Villa star, but Liverpool are looking for an up-front fee of £30 million.

Whether Palace meet this valuation remains to be seen, but according to reports on Wednesday evening they will be joined by two more clubs in the pursuit of Benteke.

According to the Mirror, Everton are plotting to move for the 25-year-old if Romelu Lukaku leaves the club this summer.

Furthermore, Benteke is said to be attracting the interest of former Toffees manager David Moyes, now in the dugout at Sunderland.

This sees Benteke’s list of Premier League admirers grow to four, with West Ham United also interested in securing a deal this summer.

Though the striker travelled with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for their pre-season tour of the US this summer, he was the only player to not play a single minute, compounding his plight.

If he were to remain on Merseyside for 2016/17, he would likely be Klopp’s fifth-choice striker.

ST. LOUIS, USA - Monday, August 1, 2016: Liverpool's Christian Benteke after a pre-season friendly game against AS Roma on day twelve of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Busch Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings are ahead of Benteke in the pecking order, with the battle to become Klopp’s first choice heating up during pre-season.

Joining any of Palace, West Ham, Everton or Sunderland would boost his chances of a regular starting role.

Whether he would make the move across Stanley Park is unlikely, however, with the last player to do so being Abel Xavier in 2002.

Palace would be the ideal destination for Benteke, with the Eagles willing to match his current £120,000-a-week wage, but Liverpool’s valuation looks to have put them off at this stage.

According to the Mail, the Reds’ hardball stance could even see Benteke leave on loan, drawing comparisons with their inability to sell their previous big-money forward, Andy Carroll.

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