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West Ham chief confirms he is a fan of Christian Benteke

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Benteke to West Ham?
Benteke to West Ham?

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has confirmed that his club are interested in signing Liverpool striker Christian Benteke, while he has also confirmed that he tried to appoint Italy coach Antonio Conte as Hammers boss last summer.

Benteke appears to be on the way out of Liverpool after being overlooked by manager Jurgen Klopp in recent months, with Hammers chief Sullivan admitting he would be tempted to make a move to sign the forward this summer.

“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 is quoted in the Daily Mirror.

His comments suggesting Conte was in talks to take over at West Ham ahead of this season are intriguing, with the coach expected to become Chelsea manager after Euro 2016 tempted by the challenge on offer with the Hammers.

“We wanted a big name. He had taken over the Italian team a year previously and was basically unbeaten," stated Sullivan.

“He told us, 'I’d be lynched but I’d love to come in a year. I’d consider it in a year’. This year’s up and he has taken them to the Euros. It was a short but positive conversation.

“He’s a got a massive record of winning things. He’d have had great connections in Italy, played sexy football and it would have been be jolly good.

“With a team like Chelsea you have to bring in a manager who has won things at a top level. You can’t take a risk.

“I’d stay with Slaven now. You stick with what you know. With the ammunition he has had, if it wasn’t for Leicester you’d say he couldn’t do any better.”