Liverpool to block 25-year-old loan move as Everton join race - report
By Will Butcher
Everton have thrown their hat into the ring as they look to beat a whole host of Premier League sides to sign Liverpool striker Christian Benteke, according to a report.
Liverpool are keen to offload the Belgium striker but they are unwilling to allow the target man to leave Anfield on loan.
The Liverpool Echo claims that the Reds’ Merseyside rivals are one of a number of Premier League clubs interested in signing the former Genk striker, as they look to reinforce their striker ranks amid doubts over the future of Romelu Lukaku.
Liverpool are looking to recoup as much of the £32.5million they paid Aston Villa last summer for the attacker, and the Echo report that the Jurgen Klopp’s team do not want to negotiate a temporary move as the manager wants to bring in extra cash to strengthen other areas of his squad.
Benteke has four years remaining on his Anfield contract, after signing from Aston Villa last summer, but made just 14 Premier League starts last season.
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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 this summer and appears keen to leave, with Crystal Palace coming close to signing Liverpool’s number 9 last month.
The London club could not agree a deal as the Merseysiders held out for their £30million-plus asking price.
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 Everton transfer news, boss Ronald Koeman is looking to pull off a sensational deal to sign this Germany interntional.