Christian Benteke not for sale - Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce

Christian Benteke
Benteke has scored eight league goals so far this sesaon

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is "not for sale" and has "a major part to play" at the club, according to manager Sam Allardyce .

Benteke, 26, joined the Eagles last August for £27m from Liverpool but there has been speculation over his future with Palace battling relegation.

"Never say never but at the moment he is a Crystal Palace player," said former England boss Allardyce.

"I am planning on him being here at the end of the [January transfer] window."

Palace are 17th in the top flight - one place above the relegation zone - and Belgium international Benteke, who has eight league goals this season, has not scored in his last five games.

"We have to play better off Christian," said Allardyce, who succeeded Alan Pardew in December.

"He is a very important player who we have to keep in the game as much as possible, feeding balls into his feet and chest and for him to hold it up and we spring off him.

"Everyone has to play better at the moment. Everyone has to up their game, not just Christian."

Palace have conceded the joint-third highest amount of Premier League goals this season and Allardyce says he is more concerned about reinforcing his defence in January.

"My interest is in strengthening the defence, not the attack at this moment in time," he said.

"We have got bids in for three or four players and will find out if they are successful later on Thursday."

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