De Boer: Benteke crucial to Palace

New Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer has warned potential suitors they face disappointment in the pursuit of Belgian hitman Christian Benteke.

Chelsea are reportedly sniffing around the 26-year-old striker in their search for Diego Costa's replacement, after the Spain international was told he is free to leave Stamford Bridge.

Benteke rediscovered his form in front of goal for the Eagles last term, scoring 14 times in 36 outings to help them retain their Premier League status under former manager Sam Allardyce.

But De Boer is hoping he gets the chance to work with the Belgium international this coming season, saying he is pivotal to the south London club having a successful league campaign.

When asked about the rumours linking Benteke with a move away from Selhurst Park, the Dutchman told reporters: "He's happy here and we really want him to stay.

"He made a great impact last season, especially in the second half of the season, and he is crucial to us and we don't want to sell him."