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Liverpool agree deal for Obi - sources


Liverpool's Christian Benteke among West Ham targets - David Sullivan

West Ham United have confirmed their interest in signing Christian Benteke from Liverpool but fear his wages may price them out of a deal.

Sky Sports recently reported that West Ham have set aside around £40 million to sign a striker this summer, with Benteke, Marseille's Michy Batshuayi and Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette their top targets.

West Ham's co-chairman David Sullivan has now said Benteke is of interest to the club but personal terms may be a stumbling block.

"The problem is he is on such a huge wage that no club can afford him, but he is a player that we admire," Sullivan said in the Daily Mirror.

Benteke cost Liverpool £32.5m from Aston Villa in July 2015 but has been relegated to the role of substitute under Reds manager Jurgen Klopp and has spoken of his frustration with the situation.

The 25-year-old became the second most expensive signing in Liverpool's history when he arrived under then-manager Brendan Rodgers.

The most expensive remains Andy Carroll, who was also offered an escape route by West Ham when he, like Benteke, struggled upon joining the Reds for £35 million in January 2011.

Carroll agreed a £2m season-long loan in August 2012 with the London club, who met his £80,000-a-week wages that season before paying a reported £15m to sign him permanently the following summer. 

West Ham's current loan forward Emmanuel Emenike is expected to return to Fenerbahce, his parent club, at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him @writertombell.


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