Liverpool: Benteke latest; Wigan to loan youngster; winger heading for exit door?
It seems as if Liverpool have (unsuccessfully) been attempting to rid themselves of Belgian striker Christian Benteke all summer long, and the future of their £32.5 million flop still looks a long way from being resolved with just over three weeks left of the window.
The Reds do not wish to lose too much money on Benteke, recognising his significant value to other sides even if he is a misfit at Anfield, and other than a rejected £25 million bid from Crystal Palace, have not received any more offers for the forward.
It also appears that a move to Besiktas, which had been mooted over the weekend, is now a no go too, with the Turkish champions unwilling to spend over £21 million on the transfer. This is well below Liverpool’s valuation of the player, and that deal will not be happening unless either side massively shifts their stance in negotiation.
Benteke, who scored a meagre nine Premier League goals in 2015/16, has fallen to sixth choice centre forward under Klopp, even behind midfielders Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. The Reds will hope that they get a good offer in for the Belgian before the end of the window in order to end what has been an unsatisfactory agreement for all parties. It is not Benteke’s fault he doesn’t fit in at Liverpool; placing the blame on him for the failure of the move would like blaming a fish for failing to climb a tree. He just doesn’t fit into the environment.
It may be wise for the Reds to slightly lower their valuation of Benteke if they don’t receive an appropriate offer before the end of the window, as it is unfair on both club and player to leave the 25-year-old sitting in the stands for a season. The sooner Benteke can leave, the better for everyone.
Another player who may be on his way out of the club is Serbian winger Lazar Markovic, who is reportedly a loan target for Italian side Lazio.
22-year-old Markovic, who experienced an injury hit loan spell at Fenerbahce last campaign where he made just 14 appearances, has an uncertain future after Jurgen Klopp admitted that he is unsure whether he will be in his plans for the new season.
Signed for £20 million two summers ago based on his electric pace and huge potential, Markovic has shown only a few flashes of turning into the kind of player that Brendan Rodgers spent so much money on. He is still young enough to become a success at Anfield, but with several attacking midfielders ahead of him in the pecking order, another loan move wouldn’t hurt his development.
Finally, whilst the futures of Markovic and Benteke are hanging in the balance, Cameron Brannagan’s looks much more concrete, with reports that a loan move to Wigan Athletic is finally close to being completed.
Brannagan, 20, who made nine appearances last term for Liverpool in the centre of midfield, is highly touted, but is another youngster who may suffer from the signings of Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane. Wigan have been linked with him for much of the summer, but issues over a clause of playing in 75% of games held up the deal.
However, it now appears that Brannagan is close to joining Wigan at last, allowing him to continue his development in the Championship before returning to Anfield next summer.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by LFCVN 12-2014
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