Chelsea buying Benteke could make sense for Liverpool, but is interest part of longer game?

Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the first goal for Liverpool

Chelsea have been linked with interest in Liverpool's Christian Benteke.

Christian Benteke scores the first goal for LiverpoolChristian Benteke scores the first goal for Liverpool

 

Chelsea were linked with a move for Liverpool striker Christian Benteke in The Times, in the event the Blues couldn't land Romelu Lukaku from Everton

The Times report suggests he could be a cheaper alternative to Lukaku, and it seems that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is open to the idea of selling Benteke this summer. 

Everton's Romelu Lukaku looks dejectedEverton's Romelu Lukaku looks dejected

It would probably make sense for Liverpool to let him go as they will look to cut their losses on Benteke - who they signed for £32.5 million only last summer under Brendan Rodgers. 

Chelsea seem determined to add a bit of presence in the final third of the field, but the report in The Times does come across a little like those at Stamford Bridge are suggesting they are prepared to look elsewhere to strengthen their attacking personnel, and will hope for a drop in the £65 million asking price for Lukaku from Everton - who is 'open' to a return according to the report. 

It has been well documented about the struggles that Benteke has had fitting into the Liverpool side. All three of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino have been preferred to lead the line by Jurgen Klopp this season - though Benteke has had some notable contributions off the bench this season as he has found the net 10 times in all competitions. But Liverpool will have wanted more of a return in terms of goals. 

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp speaks to Christian Benteke before he comes on as a substituteLiverpool manager Juergen Klopp speaks to Christian Benteke 

Prior to his move for Liverpool Benteke was averaging around one goal every two games for Aston Villa, at Liverpool he has been averaging close to a goal in every four games.

It's up to Antonio Conte as to whether he can get him back to the kind of strike rate he had at Villa rather than that at Liverpool in the past season. But it's probably of little surprise that he is behind Lukaku - someone who has been more prolific across the last 12 months - when it comes to their preferred targets. 

If Benteke ultimately ends up being Chelsea's man, they will be wary of past recent buys from Liverpool in Fernando Torres, Raul Meireles and Yossi Benayoun. It's hardly the best record. However, back in October, they have seen first hand what Benteke can do to an opposition defence. 

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