According to the Guardian, Crystal Palace are in contract talks with Christian Benteke. The striker’s current deal is set to expire next summer, meaning he’ll be able to leave Selhurst Park on a free transfer.
The Eagles are keen to protect their significant investment in the Belgian though, and are therefore prepared to offer him new terms. As quoted in the aforementioned Guardian report, Roy Hodgson has said of the situation, “if Christian signs a new contract, I’ll be happy for him and happy to work with him”. The manager would likely have little choice but to work with Benteke, as Crystal Palace may struggle to find a buyer for the 28-year-old.
Benteke enjoyed a fine first campaign at Selhurst Park, following his £27 million switch from Liverpool in the summer of 2016. Since then though, the striker’s form has fallen off a cliff. Since the start of the 2017/18 season, Benteke has managed just four Premier League goals. The 34-cap Belgium international looks bereft of confidence and desperate for a fresh start elsewhere.
The time has come for Crystal Palace to cut their losses. They should allow Benteke to leave for free at the end of the season. If they did sign him up to a new deal they wouldn’t be able to demand a large transfer fee for him anyway. What’s more, they could fail to offload him altogether and get stuck paying his wages for even longer. Offering Benteke a new deal is not a smart decision and could prove to be a costly error.