Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has no intention of leaving the club and will see out the final year of his contract, his agent has revealed.
Benteke has struggled for minutes in the Premier League this season. Indeed he has only made 11 top-flight starts all season. The last time he played the full 90 minutes was against Aston Villa way back in November.
The Belgium international has hardly figured at all in the second half of the season. A move away looked to be on the cards this summer as the Eagles look to revamp their squad.
Boss Patrick Vieira would be willing to move him on. It was also assumed the player would go in search of first-team football at another club. But it looks as though everyone may have assumed wrong. Benteke’s agent Kismet Eris has been quoted as saying his client is going nowhere.
Eris was quoted by Sudinfo and it looks as though Benteke loves London life too much.
“Christian has had more difficult seasons, but he is very happy in London. Returning to Belgium is not on the agenda,” Eris told the publication.
Benteke would not be short of offers, particularly in his homeland. There has also been interest from clubs in Turkey. But if Eris is correct then Benteke will stick it out at Palace. The report says that the situation is far from ideal for Benteke but he is willing to honour his contract.
There has been interest from Premier League rivals in the past. But again his love of London life got in the way. Burnley wanted to get him on board during the January window but he turned it down.
West Ham were also linked. The Hammers were looking for a striker in the window and Benteke was mentioned. Such a move would have appealed to Benteke but it failed to materliase. The Hammers still need a new striker but they are unlikely to resurrect their interest.
Crystal Palace may be better off keeping hold
Even though Palace would be happy to move Benteke on, him staying on board is not a bad thing. Vieira will need a strong squad for next season and Benteke, like this season, could have a role to play.
The Belgium forward could be handy when coming of the bench, offering another attacking dimension. He will also prove to be useful in the cup competitions as Vieira looks to rotate his squad. Benteke did feature in five FA Cup games this season.
Palace were looking for a £10million fee in January but would not get anywhere near that now. So it may be worth keeping hold and having another good squad player for next season.