By Danny Wright
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has added Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke to his shortlist of replacements for Romelu Lukaku, according to a report.
The Mirror claims in their live transfer blog on Wednesday [03:45am] that Koeman is looking for a target man to “fill the void” left by the Goodison Park goal machine following his £75million switch to Manchester United.
However the report says that Palace are unwilling to let Benteke leave Selhurst Park just a year after he arrived in south London from Liverpool in a £32million deal.
It is understood that Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud is also on the Toffees’ wishlist, but Arsene Wenger would like to keep hold of the Frenchman while he would also prefer a move back to his homeland.
Benteke, 26, was in top form for the Eagles last season, as he scored 17 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions – with one coming in a 1-1 draw with Everton last September.
The Belgian international forward started just 14 Premier League fixtures during his time at Anfield as he struggled with injuries and the fact that manager Brendan Rodgers had been replaced by Jurgen Klopp, but soon found his feet again in south London with Palace.
Football Insider Verdict
Everton definitely need to go all out on a new striker this summer if they want to replace Lukaku amicably this summer. The ex-Chelsea man’s goals were nothing short of priceless for the Toffees so they can’t afford any short-comings in their pursuit for a replacement. Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney have already been snapped up by Koeman, but it’s doubtful that either of them could find the net as often as Lukaku. Benteke would be a good replacement. He has the Premier League knowledge and showed at Selhurst Park last season that he still has the potential to become a goal machine of a striker for a top team. Giroud is a bit older and might perhaps cost less, but Benteke would certainly deserve another shot on Merseyside.