Transfer news: West Brom's interest in Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke confirmed by Sam Allardyce

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce confirms he would be interested in signing Christian Benteke if the Crystal Palace striker becomes available; clubs are talking about a short-term deal but remain some way apart; Roy Hodgson says he has not spoken to Allardyce about Benteke.

Christian Benteke is attracting the interest of West Brom manager Sam Allardyce
Image: Christian Benteke is attracting the interest of West Brom manager Sam Allardyce

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed he would be interested in signing Christian Benteke if the Crystal Palace striker was available.

The clubs are in talks over a short-term deal for the Belgium international and Palace are prepared to listen to offers following the arrival of Jean-Philippe Mateta from Mainz.

However, it is understood there is still some distance between the two clubs' standpoints.

Bringing a striker to The Hawthorns has been top of Allardyce's priorities since his appointment by Albion in mid-December.

However, West Brom's finances are tight and negotiations with Palace have focused on how much of Benteke's existing wages would be paid by each side.

Asked about the 30-year-old, Allardyce said: "I am not sure if Christian is available, that's down to the head of recruitment and (technical director) Luke (Dowling).

"If they came to me and said Christian is available... I'm not sure that's the case at the moment as I think everybody would like to keep hold of their strikers, particularly in the Premier League.

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Sam Allardyce is unsure whether Christian Benteke will become available this month
Image: Allardyce is unsure whether Benteke will become available this month

"I couldn't enlighten you at this moment but if he is available, I'd be interested because we all know I'm looking for a front-man if at all possible, but I've not been given any indication that that is the case."

Allardyce is hoping to make a couple of signings before the transfer window closes in a week's time.

"We've had many other players on the radar, many abroad, but we've not been able to secure that particular player yet," said the Baggies boss, whose fight for Premier League survival continues with a home game against Manchester City on Tuesday night.

preview image 0:48
New Crystal Palace signing Jean-Philippe Mateta says he is 'very happy' to sign for the club after joining from Bundesliga side Mainz on an 18-month loan deal with an option to buy

"We must keep our ear open on the transfer market to try and secure the signings that we want - we want two more if we can possibly achieve that.

"I'd emphasise we have to try and get the right quality, but it's difficult in our position. Some might not want to join the fight and the position where we are in the Premier League."

Allardyce's comments drew a response from Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson ahead of their game against West Ham on Tuesday.

Christian Benteke is attracting the interest of West Brom manager Sam Allardyce 0:23
Roy Hodgson says he is unaware of any interest from West Brom in Christian Benteke and that the Belgian is still very much part of his team.

"Christian is in our team at the moment so I didn't know that Sam has been talking about that but he's not spoken to me about it so I don't quite know who he's speaking to so it must be someone else at the club," he said.

"So I can't fill you in more than to say that Christian Benteke is still part of our team here and I'm not convinced that the club are going to be that interested in letting him go".

Allardyce also confirmed former Leicester winger Ahmed Musa is set to link up with the club for a trial.

The 28-year-old Nigerian, who had an unremarkable spell with the Foxes between 2016 and 2018, is a free agent after leaving Saudi side Al-Nassr.

West Brom will run the rule over him before making a decision on whether to offer him a short-term deal.

Allardyce said: "He's not here yet. He's a person of interest and when he arrives, we'll alert everybody and let them know."

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