Crystal Palace are reportedly looking to raise funds in a bid to meet Watford’s £40million asking price for exciting wide man Ismaila Sarr – and that has got to place Dean Smith and Aston Villa on red alert.
Sarr, 22, only joined Watford from Rennes last summer but has since impressed – scoring six goals and laying on six assists in 30 league and cup appearances. But following Watford’s relegation, he is now set to leave.
The Mail claim Palace are desperate to sign Sarr as a possible replacement for Wilfried Zaha, but must raise funds in order to afford his asking price. Christian Benteke has been identified as a possible exit.
Benteke, 29, has endured a dismal spell at Palace. Joining the club in the summer of 2016 from Liverpool, Belgium international Benteke has managed just 23 goals in 115 games – with only three strikes in the last two seasons.
However, the Belgian is better than his stats. He has been stifled in a Palace side that prefer to defend and counter, with wingers Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend preferring to cut inside and shoot – rather than cross.
During his time at Villa, Benteke scored 49 goals in 101 games. Villa played to his strengths, crossing the ball when given the chance to do so – and looking for the powerhouse that is the former Genk striker.
A favourite among Villa fans for his one-in-two goalscoring form in claret and blue, Benteke is said to be available for a bargain £8million and that has got to spring Villa into action – and orchestrate a return to Villa Park.
Wesley struggled before his injury, Mbwana Samatta showed glimpses but not enough to rid Villa of their striker issues and Keinan Davis out of his depth. Villa need a striker and Benteke is absolutely ideal.
Luring the former Liverpool man to Villa Park would be tricky given his enormous £120,000-a-week wages (Mail) at Palace. But for a bargain £8million transfer fee, Villa have got to consider a reunion with Benteke.