Premier League transfer news: Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke in demand

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke winning an aerial duel against Kurt Zouma

Belgian side Royal Antwerp are reportedly interested in signing Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke this summer. 

What's the latest? 

It was previously reported that Club Brugge were the favourites to sign the Belgian international but there's been an interesting new development. 

Voetbal24 has shared, as further reported by Sports Witness, that Royal Antwerp are interested in bringing the striker back to his native land. 

The club reportedly have a plan for Benteke to 'immediately become a big earner' at the club and Antwerp are 'fully committed' to signing the former Liverpool striker.

Will he definitely leave this summer?  

Nothing has been confirmed regarding whether he will depart the south London club in the future but it is a clear possibility. 

Benteke's contract is due to expire in June of this year and the club are reportedly set to go through a rebuild this summer, with it also being unlikely that Roy Hodgson will stay at Selhurst Park. 

The towering striker is the second-highest-paid player at the Eagles and brings home a weekly wage of £120,000 a week, according to Spotrac

Taking into consideration that Benteke is also now on the wrong side of 30 and earning more than most players in the squad, it may be time for Palace to go in a new direction. 

How has he performed this season? 

In comparison to the previous two campaigns, Benteke has actually had a fairly productive term in front of goal.

Across the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, the former Villa forward found the back of the net on just three occasions, according to Transfermarkt

However, this year, Benteke has converted six goals across 24 appearances and has been a threat going forward for Palace. 

As per WhoScored statistics, the big striker has won an average of six aerial duels per game, which is the most in the Premier League alongside Sheffield United's Ollie McBurnie.

Furthermore, only Wilfred Zaha has recorded more shots per game amongst the Palace squad.  

Therefore, he is still clearly a big presence in south London, but should Palace hang on to him?

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Which Palace manager signed Christian Benteke?

Should Palace let him go?

Benteke has his benefits, without a shadow of a doubt, but it's time for Palace to move on. 

Although the forward is having a better goal-scoring season than his last two terms, six goals isn't a great return for a player who is taking home a six-figure salary. 

Palace have an ageing squad and need to invest in younger, and more importantly, cheaper talents as the south London club enter the next phase. 

That is perhaps why chairman Steve Parish and Director of Football Dougie Freedman are yet to offer Benteke a new deal beyond this season.

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