Chelsea have earmarked Liverpool striker Christian Benteke as a possible target in January, with the Belgian having fallen out of favour under Jurgen Klopp. The 25-year-old signed for £32.5m ($50m) under Brendan Rodgers but has struggled to fit into the system being used by Klopp which has put his future under a cloud.
The Sunday People reports that Benteke was among Jose Mourinho's priority targets for the January transfer window before he was sacked and Guus Hiddink, who has been appointed on a stop-gap basis till the end of the season, has a decision to make regarding bolstering his attacking options. The Dutchman is expected to be busy in the market in the upcoming transfer window, with his side struggling in the bottom half of the table, despite a morale-boosting win over Sunderland this weekend.
Benteke will come in as an alternative to Diego Costa, who has failed to scale the heights he did last season, scoring only thrice in 13 appearances in the league so far. The Spaniard's form has been the main reason behind Chelsea's misfortunes, with his backups Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao also coming up short in the final third.
Chelsea are likely to push for a loan deal, but the Reds are unwilling to help a top four rival get back to winning ways, with the Reds struggling to get a run of wins together following some brilliant performances which saw them obliterate Manchester City and Southampton in quick succession. Benteke has scored only thrice in the ten games he has played under Klopp, but the former Borussia Dortmund manager has limited options, with Daniel Sturridge currently nursing a hamstring strain and Danny Ings set to miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
In a recent interview, Klopp agreed that Benteke is struggling, putting his long-term future at Anfield in doubt. The manager wants the Belgian to make forward runs and not wait for crosses, something he was used to at Aston Villa.
"There's a difference between the way we play and Aston Villa play. If as a striker you don't feel confident in the game because you aren't getting enough crosses then you have to move more," Klopp said.
"As a striker you want to play five, six games in a row. At Villa when he was fit he played - but here everything is different."
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