?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.
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.
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)
“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.”