What has been said?

After signing his extension, Benteke said: “I’m happy and proud to commit my future to Crystal Palace. Five years already and still a lot more to come. We have a great group of players and staff, and I’m looking forward to the season ahead and playing in front of our fans again.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish added: “Christian has been an integral part of consolidating our position as an established Premier League club over the last five years. He is an outstanding professional and has more than proven that he still has the quality and the hunger to perform for our club at the highest level, and I couldn’t be happier to see him in red and blue for another two seasons.”

Why are Palace extending Benteke’s stay?

Benteke may have struggled for goals over the last three seasons but, as the focal point of Palace’s front line, he rallied from the moment he volleyed his team’s unlikely winner in stoppage time at Brighton in February.

He managed seven in 13 games, form more reminiscent of his first season in south London back in 2016-17 following his £27 million move from Liverpool.

The ankle injury ruled him out of the final game of term at Anfield, but he ended with 10 from 21 top flight starts, four more than the last three seasons combined.

Was there interest from elsewhere in the Belgian?

The Turkish Super Lig champions Besiktas made an enquiry in January when Palace might have been more prepared to listen to offers for the forward, but the player had no interest in leaving London.

His family is settled in the area and he was content to see out his contract and consider his options.

Tentative interest from rival English clubs, as well as suitors across Europe, surfaced over the last few weeks as the player’s form picked up, but the player was always keen to stay.

Has the striker taken a wage cut?

That is unclear. Palace are attempting to reduce their wage bill this summer and have a number of high-earning senior players out of contract.

However, their hopes of prolonging Benteke’s stay on significantly reduced terms may have been thwarted by the player’s fine end to the current campaign.

Regardless, in a summer of upheaval at Selhurst Park, retaining the player would represent a more cost-effective solution than signing a striker from elsewhere.

Will others follow Benteke’s lead?

Palace have 12 senior players out of contract at the end of June and expect the likes of Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, Connor Wickham, Wayne Hennessey and James McCarthy to leave.

However, the club did make a point of speaking to the group at the end of the season to explain to them that they needed to speak with Roy Hodgson’s successor – the search for a new manager is ongoing – before any new contract offers were put forward.

The expectation is that the likes of Andros Townsend, Gary Cahill and Joel Ward will be offered terms to remain at the club.

(Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)





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