Allardyce clarifies claims over Benteke future

Matt Stead

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce has said Christian Benteke is “not for sale” because he is a “major part” of the Eagles squad.

The £30million striker has been linked with a move to China as well as been mentioned as part of a swap deal with West Brom’s Saido Berahino.

However, Allardyce has dismissed those reports as mere speculation.

Allardyce said: “Unless the chairman knows any different from me, Christian Benteke is not for sale.

“Never say never but at the moment he is a Crystal Palace player. I am planning on him being here at the end of the window. He has a major part to play.

“My interest is in strengthening the defence, not the attack at this moment in time. When Wilfried Zaha comes back, and Bakary Sako, we have got good options on the front line.

“It is not a priority, but we need to secure more defensive players.

“We have got bids in for three or four players and will find out if they are successful later today.”

One of those players is believed to Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson.