Benteke Set to Snub Secondary Role at Chelsea to Maintain Starting XI Status at Crystal Palace

?Chelsea are said to be on the hunt for an accomplished secondary striker to deputise new signing Alvaro Morata, and Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke has surfaced as a potential target.

Despite Michy Batshuayi’s potent form for the Blues in-front of goal of late, Antonio Conte is vying to bolster his attacking ranks, although the Eagles’ Belgium international – according to a report published by Independent – is unwilling to play second fiddle at the Premier League champions, with the 2018 World Cup in Russia being just around the corner.

West Brom v Crystal Palace: Premier League Asia Trophy

Starting week in, week out is a reality for the striker who made the switch to Selhurst Park from Liverpool last summer in a deal worth £27m, ultimately Benteke is aiming to have a strong season under Frank de Boer next term to earn a seat on Belgium’s plane next summer.

Benteke, 26, helped the south Londoners avoid the drop last season and scored 17 goals throughout the 2016-17 campaign in all competitions, a return which Conte is said to admire.

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Swansea City’s Fernando Llorente, 32, has also been pinpointed by the Italian boss as a worthy understudy to former Real Madrid attacker Morata.

However Benteke – speaking whilst on Palace’s pre-season tour (via Express) – revealed that he is indeed ‘very happy’ in his current surroundings and wants to play a part in de Boer’s project at the club next term in order to compete at next year’s World Cup.

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“I am very happy. Since we came back I did not really want to talk but I want to be here.” He claimed.

“I want to be part of the project of the manager. I want to perform and to score more goals and to really help the team to reach where they want to be.

“There is the World Cup [next summer] and that is an important aspect of being with the club — and you have to perform to be part of that group.”



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