Liverpool striker Christian Benteke has been labelled as the perfect signing for Crystal Palace, whose manager Alan Pardew has been backed to turn around the career of the Belgium international. The 25-year-old endured a nightmare first season at Anfield, scoring just 11 goals as he fell out of favour with manager Jurgen Klopp.
Sky Sports understand Palace have submitted a £25m bid for Benteke in an effort to bring him to Selhurst Park. However, the Reds' valuation is closer to the £32.5m they paid Aston Villa for the frontman in the summer of 2015. Benteke has since reacted to speculation over his future by pledging to fight for his Liverpool place, according to The Daily Telegraph.
But former Eagles forward Leon McKenzie, who made 85 appearances for the club between 1995 and 2000, hopes the Liverpool forward reconsiders a move to south London. Pardew's side are devoid of a central striker to complement the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha, and McKenzie feels Benteke would be ideal for the role.
"Crystal Palace need an out-and-out goalscorer who is fast, sharp and brings something a little bit different," he told Sky Sports. "Christian Benteke certainly has those attributes. I think he would be a good addition and he needs to rediscover what made him such a valuable player in the first place. A lot of it is down to man-management and Alan Pardew will always be able to get the best out of certain players.
"Pardew could perhaps get Benteke back to where he was before. It would be good move for him and hopefully Palace can get him. Crystal Palace are an established Premier League team now. There is no yo-yo aspect involved with the club any more. They hold their own and have done so for several years now. That sort of money is now available as a result of staying in the Premier League."
The pressure over Benteke's future at Liverpool has intensified this summer with the arrival of Sadio Mane from Southampton and Danny Ings' return to full fitness, which has seen him net in the friendly wins over Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic. Benteke will return to training with his club this week following a break after the European Championships, when his future may become clearer.
One striker on the way out of Liverpool is Mario Balotelli, who has been told by Jurgen Klopp he has no future on Merseyside after spending last term on loan at AC Milan. "But this is not a situation where he should be battling with other players like this for one position so it's clear we need a solution," he said of the Italy international, according to the Liverpool Echo. "There will be a club around who would be happy to have a new Mario Balotelli if you like."