Carl Jenkinson close to Crystal Palace deal

Crystal Palace: Sammy Lee named as Sam Allardyce's assistant boss again

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce has insisted that striker Christian Benteke is not for sale during his press conference on Thursday.

"My interest is to strengthen the defensive areas at this time".

Arsenal and Palace are in talks as the Eagles look to try to agree a fee, with Sam Allardyce hoping to make the 24-year-old his first signing since taking charge at Selhurst Park last month.

When asked about Jenkinson - who is definitely on Palace's wanted list - Allardyce replied: "We'll let you know if he signs on the dotted line". He's scored eight already and he's got a big part to play.

"We've been very busy without any great success".

Allardyce was said to be open to letting the Belgium worldwide leave in order to finance his January spending but he claims those rumours are wide of the mark, insisting the 26-year-old will remain the focal point of his team's attack.

The Gunners are said to want more from their fringe player, and it is reported that the deal could eventually rise to around £6.5m.

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Allardyce, the Crystal Palace manager, is targeting a raid on his former club after lodging a firm bid for the former Chelsea left-back.

"I don't reflect on the past very often, but I did have four very enjoyable years at West Ham".

"We are trying our best but the prices are steep, but we have to live with those because it is a necessity that we strengthen the defence". "I really enjoyed living in London", he said.

"I'd expect an alright reception". If we start winning it might be different. Reflecting on that Watford game I'm bitterly disappointed.

"We'd all feel a little more comfortable with a win from that game".

Palace have also confirmed Martyn Margetson has joined the club from Cardiff City as goalkeeping coach.

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