By Dominic Toner
Besiktas club president Fikret Orman has confirmed that they are one of a number of clubs interested in signing “great” Liverpool striker Christian Benteke.
But Orman admitted that Liverpool’s £30million-plus valuation of the Belgium international is a major stumbling block to a deal.
Sky Sports reported last month that Crystal Palace had tabled a £25million bid for Benteke, but the fee could not be agreed and the Belgian vowed to fight for his place at Anfield.
The Echo now report that Besiktas have entered the race to sign the striker and the club’s president Orman has confirmed their interest in Benteke.
“Benteke is a great player but he has a very high market valuation,” Orman said, as quoted by the Echo. “I want Benteke but Liverpool want a lot for him. It won’t be an easy transfer but we will see.
“We are waiting for any news but at this moment there is nothing concrete. There are several teams interested in signing him so hopefully we can reach a resolution soon.”
Jurgen Klopp has reiterated that he will not let his players leave on the cheap this summer and Liverpool are looking to recoup as much of the £32.5million that they paid for Benteke.
Benteke has four years remaining on his Anfield contract, after signing from Aston Villa last summer for £32.5million.
The 26-time Belgium international has dropped down the striker pecking order, with Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and even playmaker Roberto Firmino all considered ahead of him in the battle for the spearhead role.
Benteke has not featured once for Klopp during the pre-season and Liverpool’s number nine could end his brief stay at the club.
The striker scored 42 goals in 89 appearances during his time at Villa, but that form dipped after his big-money move to Anfield, which saw him net on nine occasions in 29 games in all competitions for the club.
In other Liverpool transfer news, John Arne Riise has given his verdict on the club’s left-back situation.