Allardyce insists Benteke is not for sale and reveals bids for players

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce has insisted striker Christian Benteke is not for sale – and revealed he has several bids in for players as he looks to strengthen his defence.

Benteke has been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park, less than five months after joining from Liverpool for an initial £27m.

The Belgian forward has scored eight goals in 20 appearances for Palace and Allardyce is expecting him to stay at the club – and play against West Ham on Saturday.

“Unless the chairman knows any different from me, Christian Benteke is not for sale,” Allardyce said at his pre-match press conference.

“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.

“We have to play better off Christian and get that ball in the box for him, where he is particularly dangerous with his head.”

With Palace already only nine goals behind their tally for the whole of last season, but having conceded 37 in 20 Premier League games, Allardyce said improving the back line was his priority in January.

“Our problem is we’ve been leaking too many,” he said.

“My interest is in strengthening the defence.

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

Crystal Palace have also added England goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson to their backroom staff.

Margetson, who joins from Cardiff City, worked with Allardyce during his brief stint as national team boss.

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