Liverpool have rejected an initial £23million offer from Crystal Palace for striker Christian Benteke as they hold out for a fee similar to the one they paid last summer.
Press Association Sport understands that Palace, whose own transfer kitty has been swelled by Yannick Bolasie’s move to Everton on Monday, lodged a bid that, with add-ons, was thought could rise to £30million.
Benteke is seen as surplus to requirements among the six strikers at Anfield just one year on from his £32.5million switch from Aston Villa, yet the Reds want to recoup as much of that money as possible and have turned down Palace’s offer.
There is still hope a deal could be struck for the 28-year-old between the two Premier League clubs and it is believed Palace will be undeterred by seeing their first attempt turned down.
The add-ons, believed to be team-incentivised, which were part of the package are thought to be one of the stumbling blocks for the Reds, who will know that West Brom are also keeping tabs on the Belgium international’s status.
Both Benteke and Mario Balotelli could leave Liverpool prior to the window closing next month, though boss Jurgen Klopp last week warned their suitors their desire to offload them would not see them sold on the cheap.
“Having six strikers is a little bit too uncomfortable but it’s still possible,” Klopp said.
“If anybody thinks that because we have more than one striker, we make presents to other clubs, that’s the biggest misunderstanding in world football. We will not do that 100 per cent.”
Benteke left Aston Villa for Liverpool last year having averaged nearly a goal every other game in the midlands and while he was used sparingly by Klopp when he replaced Brendan Rodgers in October, he still scored 10 times.