West Ham are reportedly keen to prise Christian Benteke away from his Anfield nightmare this summer – but want Liverpool to pay a portion of his wages with the Hammers.
The Hammers are among the clubs interested in the £120,000-a-week striker, who has been a £32.5million flop at Anfield since his move from Aston Villa last summer.
But none of those potential suitors are willing to match his massive salary, according to both The Times and the Daily Mirror.
Benteke has also rejected interest from the big-spending Chinese Super League, as he is determined to restore his reputation in the Premier League.
It leaves Liverpool facing the prospect of having to pay some of the 25-year-old’s wages if they want to move him on.
Although Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – who inherited the player when he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in October – has claimed Benteke retains his faith, the marksman has started just three of the club’s last 16 matches.
He has also fallen behind Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi in the pecking order.
West Ham, chasing a shock Champions League place, have other, cheaper options. Marseille rising star Michy Batshuayi remains their no.1 striker target at £25m.
Lyon marksman Alexandre Lacazette, 24, is also in the frame, after revealing he is keen on a move to the Premier League.
Benteke’s nightmare season has also taken another blow after as he has been warned by Belgium coach Marc Wilmots that his Euro 2016 place is under threat.
Wilmots believes the striker needs to “prove that he can mean something” to the Reds between now and the end of the season to have a chance of being in his Belgium squad this summer.
“It’s difficult for him,” said Wilmots. “Klopp arrived and visibly made his choice. Benteke is going to have doubts now. We’ve all gone through that. I understand that and regret it.
“He missed the World Cup because of an injury, and missing the Euros would hurt. Now, he has to work. Christian has the time to prove that he can mean something to Liverpool.”