Liverpool striker Christian Benteke will not be joining Chelsea during the upcoming January transfer window, according to manager Jurgen Klopp. The Belgium international has been out of favour at Anfield since the sacking of Brendan Rodgers and according to reports he was part of a transfer wishlist formulated by former manager Jose Mourinho.
The Sunday People understands that Benteke was part of Mourinho's transfer plans for January, prior to his sacking in December. Despite the departure of the 52-year-old, the publication believes that interim boss Guus Hiddink and the Blues hierarchy will press ahead with the plans to help reinvigorate the club's forward line.
Benteke has slipped down the pecking order at Liverpool since the arrival of Klopp in October. The 25-year-old was signed by Rodgers from Aston Villa in the summer but has made just four Premier League starts since the appointment of the German.
"If there's the same probability in all the other transfer rumours I've heard since I've been here, then I'm pretty cool," Klopp responded when questioned about Chelsea's interest, according to Goal.com. "All I've read until now was 0% and I haven't heard about this."
Asked about the omission of Benteke, who has netted five goals for Liverpool this season including against Chelsea in a 3-1 success at Stamford Bridge, he added: "That's the next problem. If you lose the games everyone is allowed to ask why this player didn't play, when they wouldn't after you win. So okay, maybe it was not the best decision, I don't know. We will never find out. But for today I decide first for Christian, then for Divock (Origi), then for Christian. It's up to the players to change this."
Despite the vote of confidence, Klopp has singled out Benteke for criticism for Liverpool's recent poor run in front of goal, which has seen them failed to score in three of their last four games in all competitions including in the 3-0 defeat at Watford. "There's a difference between the way we play and Aston Villa play," he claimed before the game. "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.
"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." Nevertheless, Klopp has no plans to offload Benteke – who made a 16-minute cameo appearance from the bench at Vicarage Road.