Liverpool have confirmed Christian Benteke's move to Crystal Palace on a permanent basis just one season after joining the Reds from Aston Villa on a £32.5m ($42.5m) deal. The Eagles have also announced the move after the striker completed his medical and agreed a four-year deal to remain at Selhurst Park at least until the summer of 2020.
"Crystal Palace have signed Belgium international striker Christian Benteke from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee on a four year contract," a statement read on Palace's official site.
Alan Pardew had confirmed the Belgian's imminent arrival during his pre-match press conference ahead of their game against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (20 August), when revealed that a fee had been agreed with the Reds but the striker was yet to agree personal terms. The former Newcastle United manager admitted he has been an admirer of Benteke since his days at St James' Park and is looking forward to helping the 25-year-old recapture his best form.
"He is someone I know very, very well because I wanted to take him to Newcastle. I thought he'd be a fantastic fit for that club," Pardew said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"He got the move to Liverpool and it hasn't quite worked out. For us, we need to get him back to doing what he does best. It's important when you've lost iconic players to replace them with iconic players. We've lost two this week in Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie."
"That's something that didn't always happen at Newcastle. I'm pleased the board have been brave with this move," he added.
The Belgium international was a regular at the start of last season under former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, but fell down the pecking order following the arrival of Jurgen Klopp. The German coach did not identify with Benteke when it came to his high pressing style of football, which saw him prefer Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge — when fit — or Roberto Firmino for the central striker's role.
Liverpool have now added Sadio Mane and have fit-again Danny Ings on the roster making Benteke surplus to requirements, but the German manager made it clear he will not be allowed to leave on the cheap. The striker was also looking for a way out in order to play regular first-team football and is delighted to have agreed a move to Palace with the fee said to be a reported £27m, which could further rise by £5m.
"I'm very happy to commit my future to Crystal Palace and I'm looking forward to meeting the manager, the players and the staff," Benteke told the Eagles' official site.
"I feel really happy that the deal has been done and now I can look forward," he added.
Benteke became Palace's fourth signing of the summer following the arrival of Andros Townsend from Newcastle, Steve Mandanda from Marseille and James Tomkins from West Ham United.