Benteke on Palace exit talk: ‘It makes me laugh’

Christian Benteke has insisted he has no plans to leave Crystal Palace and is fully focused on inspiring their battle against relegation.

The striker became Palace’s club-record signing in the summer when they spent £27million to recruit him from Liverpool.

He scored his ninth and 10th goals of the domestic season on Tuesday to help secure the Eagles a 2-1 FA Cup third-round replay win over Bolton.

It had been reported that new manager Sam Allardyce was willing to sell Benteke, bought by his predecessor Alan Pardew, in an attempt to fund further signings.

But the Belgium striker is adamant there is no truth to the rumours and that he will remain at Selhurst Park.

Asked if there was any chance of him leaving, the 26-year-old responded: “No. I am very happy here and I want to fight to help the team to move up the table.

“We deserve it with the players that we have got. Now we have to show it on the pitch.

“It makes me laugh. I am used to (speculation about my future) since I am in England. Now it is maybe two or three years in a row they talk about ‘Christian is going to leave’.

“(Allardyce) is a manager with a lot of experience. He has been in the Premier League for a long time and knows how to manage the team out of the position we are in now.

“We are in a dangerous position and we have to look up, because we have the ability and quality in the squad.”

Tuesday’s victory ensured Palace’s progression to the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they will host Manchester City, but they are 17th in the Premier League and above the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Allardyce spoke afterwards of the importance of building momentum with another positive result when Everton visit Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Benteke said: “We know how tough that is going to be but we are at home. We have got to fight every weekend.

“We had to win this game for our confidence and that is what we did. Bolton scored but we won and that was the most important thing.”

Benteke was at Aston Villa when they were fighting against relegation but the 26-year-old sees little room for comparison.

He added: “It is quite different because here we have got a lot of experienced players. When I was at Villa, I was unknown and there were some players who came from the Championship.

“Here it is different because we have got a lot of experienced players. We just have to find the right way and move on.”

Bolton manager Phil Parkinson inspired notable cup upsets when leading Bradford to the 2013 Capital One Cup final and when eliminating Premier League champions Chelsea from the 2015 FA Cup.

But after the Palace defeat he said his priority was to focus on his team’s pursuit of promotion to the Championship.

He said: “We’ve got to get the lads recovered for the weekend (trip to Southend) and make sure everybody is ready for selection.”