Christian Benteke is prepared to stay and fight for his place at Liverpool. The Belgian striker had been linked with a big-money move away from Anfield in recent weeks, but after Crystal Palace and West Ham United were put off by Liverpool's asking price, Benteke has indicated a willingness to battle for his future.
The 25-year-old hitman was signed by Liverpool from Aston Villa for £32.5m ($40m) and the Reds are eager to recoup all of the money they originally paid for the player. Thus far, neither Palace nor West Ham have indicated an eagerness to match Liverpool's valuation.
Benteke is now hoping to force his way back into manager Jurgen Klopp's plans for the new Premier League season, even though he slipped down the pecking order last campaign, according to The Telegraph. However, competition for places has increased at Liverpool this summer after the club signed Sadio Mane from Southampton and Danny Ings returned from injury.
Benteke has scored 51 goals in 118 Premier League matches for Villa and Liverpool. And while his £120,000-a-week wages and Liverpool's price tag for the player have proven to be off-putting to some prospective buyers, Palace and West Ham are unlikely to give up on signing him. In order to do so, however, Liverpool are likely to have to ease their eye-watering demands.
Meanwhile, Klopp recently confirmed Mario Balotelli will leave the club this summer in a bid to revive his ailing career. The Italian is currently back at the Melwood training ground after spending a season on loan at AC Milan.
Klopp believes Balotelli would be better off at a different club after establishing his fitness in training. "We want Mario to become the player he was before his injury. The talent is still there – no doubt about it," Klopp said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. "When we have done the crossing, heading and stuff [in training], he's been world class.
"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. There will be a club around who would be happy to have a new Mario Balotelli if you like."