Agreement on a transfer fee is all that stands in the way of Christian Benteke’s move to Crystal Palace after the Liverpool striker agreed terms with the Eagles.
The Anfield moneymen are keen to recoup the entirety of the circa £32m they paid Aston Villa for the Belgian – 50/1 in the Premier League top-goalscorer betting – a year ago.
Such a fee would annihilate the Selhurst Park side’s record buy, which stood at the £7m they gave Wigan for James McArthur as recently as September 2014.
Paying in excess of four times that for a player widely seen as having failed at Anfield might seem to be questionable business from a Palace perspective.
Yet, the Eagles’ arguably have more reason to stump up the cash than Liverpool had this time last summer.
True, of the 30 Premier League games in which he made the match-day squad last term, Benteke started 14, being used as a substitute 15 times.
Six of his starts for the Reds across all competitions last term came in the 11 games before Brendan Rodgers lost his job – the 25-year-old eked out only a further 14 in the 52 fixtures overseen by new manager Jurgen Klopp.
The implication was seemingly that the German didn’t think the striker he had inherited was up to what he required of him.
However, against this unsettling backdrop, with 13 games missed through injury for good measure, the Belgian scored top-flight goals at better per-minute-played ratio than in any Premier League season since his maiden term in the division.
Benteke’s incendiary 2012/13 saw him plunder 19 strikes at a rate of one every 148 minutes following his summer arrival from Genk.
Despite maintaining a lofty reputation amid Villa’s struggles in the next two campaigns he was unable to net at a frequency inside one goal in two 90-minute portions until what may well be his sole season at Liverpool.
Amid his conspicuous struggles to fit in at Anfield the Belgian still managed to bag once for every 168 minutes of Premier League action he was afforded.