Benteke the top target as West Ham plan summer spree

Oli Fisher
Christian Benteke: Talked down by teammate

Christian Benteke: Talked down by teammate

West Ham are looking to capture Liverpool striker Christian Benteke as part of a summer squad investment, according to reports.

Despite struggling for action after making a £32.5million move to Merseyside from Aston Villa last July, the Daily Mirror reports that the 25-year-old has long been a target for the East Londoners.

The Hammers are also set for a bidding war with rivals Spurs after submitting a £24m offer for Marseille striker and Benteke’s fellow Belgium international Michy Batshuayi.

The club’s co-owner David Sullivan spoke to Sky Sports on Monday, and revealed the club has big plans for the transfer window.

“We put in a bid today for £24m for a player, and other bids will be going in.

“We are going to make a £20m-£25m bid for a player in England this week. So whatever happens we’ll bring a top striker in.”

Sullivan was speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Manchester United – West Ham’s final game at Upton Park before their move to the Olympic Stadium.

He added: “It’s a statement of intent. We’ll spend between £30m and £50m on transfers this summer. But you’ve got to build it up gradually. You can’t compete with the likes of Man United overnight.”

Benteke stirred exit rumours when he spoke to Belgian outlet Voetbalmagazine in March, insisting he would not have moved to Liverpool had he known his opportunities would be so limited.

“I played two full matches in a row since Klopp (arrived). I went up against Leicester, I scored, I followed up with a game and a goal against Sunderland and then we lost to West Ham and since then I have been discarded.

“Even my father was annoyed at first by my status as a reservist and told me that I can do nothing.

“I spoke with Eden (Hazard) and with Marouane (Fellaini), they all gave me the same answer: when a coach does not count on you, you cannot change anything.

“The thing that is annoying is that I had prepared to transfer to Liverpool. I never would have signed if I had not been the priority of the coach.”