Benteke On Everton’s Radar As Giroud Interest Crushed

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Merseyside doesn’t hold the fondest of memories for Christian Benteke. His spell at Liverpool was far from a resounding success and the move to Selhurst Park, a protracted affair.

News of Everton interest in securing his services won’t be necessarily welcomed. The 26-year-old striker was a pivotal figure as Crystal Palace successfully staved off relegation last season. Fifteen goals in 35 appearances was his best return since 2012-13 when, as a raw 22-year-old, he burst onto the scene with 19 goals for Aston Villa.

The Daily Mirror reports that Ronald Koeman identified Benteke as an alternative to Olivier Giroud, 30. The Arsenal striker claims to want to stay at the Emirates and speaking in Australia ahead of the club’s first pre-season friendly, Arsène Wenger made it clear he wouldn’t sell his compatriot to a rival club.

Palace spent £32m on bringing the striker to south London last summer and were involved in tortuous negotiations with Liverpool for a player who was desperate to leave Anfield. Whether a return to Merseyside appeals to the striker is another matter.

Everton offer a higher profile, as well as Europa League football. With Romelu Lukaku, his rival for a place in the Belgium team securing a move to Manchester United, the extra exposure the Toffees offer might be a persuasive argument.