By Tom Blackburn
Liverpool striker Christian Benteke would be able to terminate his contract if the club fail to play him in 10 per cent of matches this term, according to a Uefa expert.
Dave Phillips, whose clients include the European governing body, claimed on Twitter that if Benteke fails to secure a transfer away from the club, he could force an end to the contract under a FIFA ruling.
Phillips explained the FIFA ruling that an “established professional” would be able to terminate his contract with “sporting just cause” if he didn’t appear in at least 10 per cent of games in a season.
The 10 per cent would be in minutes rather than appearances, meaning manager Jurgen Klopp would need to play Benteke in at least 380 minutes over the course of a Premier League campaign, although domestic cup matches would have to be taken into account. Liverpool are not playing in Europe this season.
Crystal Palace are the club that appear most interested in signing Benteke, who joined the Merseyside giants from Aston Villa for £32.5million last summer.
The Telegraph claimed on Tuesday that a new offer of £30.5million from Palace matched Liverpool’s valuation of the striker but the clauses inserted in the deal made it completely unacceptable to the Merseysiders.
It emerged that Palace offered an initial £23.5million with a further £7million in add-ons.
It is said those additional clauses included £2.5million should Palace qualify for the Champions League with Benteke scoring 20 goals and playing in 70 per cent of the fixtures of such a top-four campaign. These three conditions formed part of the same clause.
In other Liverpool transfer news, there is a betting update as they are installed second favourites to sign Joe Hart.