You might have seen a rumour circulating around that West Bromwich Albion were looking to sign Christian Benteke from Crystal Palace before the end of the January window.
The story emerged following the arrival of Jean-Philippe Mateta on loan from FSV Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga, but it appears to simply be that: a rumour.
That’s according to Benteke’s agent, Kismet Eris, who spoke to RTBF in Belgium and decided to clarify the situation regarding his client.
He said: “This morning, just before training, I spoke to Christian. He confirmed to me there was no contact with West Brom or any other side, and that Palace didn’t speak to him about anything either. Christian also told me: ‘Kismet, I’m very happy here, I play regularly, I’m not scared of competition. I want to stay at Palace’.
“He couldn’t have been clearer. I haven’t received a request from West Brom or others, and I’m sure Palace haven’t either, otherwise they would have warmed me. I actually think the club hope to renew Christian’s contract, who’s free in June. I think the West Brom rumour comes from Allardyce, who, during a conversation, said he’d like a profile like Benteke’s.”
Although he didn’t play against Manchester City, which Eris put down to ‘tactical reasons’, Benteke has been the most regular starter under Roy Hodgson up front, featuring from the off in five of the last eight possible games in the Premier League.
He’s scored three goals in that time, including two against West Brom, but it remains to be seen whether Mateta’s arrival changes all that.
His agent, however, doesn’t think that will be the case: “Why should he worry since he’s a starter unlike Michy Batshuayi, for example. Nothing is impossible in football, but there’s a 99% chance that Christian is still at Crystal Palace at the end of the window.
“There was talk of a loan to Antwerp. That’s rubbish. Christian is free in June. In Belgium, only Brugge can afford his services”.
That should, at least for the time being, put an end to that.