Christian Benteke has joined D.C. United from Crystal Palace, it has been confirmed. The Belgian striker will unite with ex-Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney, who was appointed the MLS side's head coach this summer.
Benteke, 31, leaves England after 10 years in the Premier League, having originally joined Aston Villa in 2012 and then moving to Liverpool three years later. He spent the last six seasons at Palace, where he scored 37 times in 177 appearances.
How long is Benteke's contract at D.C. United?
The forward had entered the final year of his contract at Selhurst Park before making the switch to the United States.
He has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal that runs until the end of 2024, but there is an option to extend his stay for another 12 months.
What did Wayne Rooney say about Benteke's signing?
United coach Rooney has expressed his delight following Benteke's move to MLS, telling the club's website: “Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time.
“His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It’s exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference.”
Meanwhile, the team's president of soccer operations added: “We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to bring in talent to bolster our squad.
"Being able to bring in a world class player of Christian’s [Benteke] caliber is a huge testament to what’s going on behind the scenes at the club and our ability to draw top talent globally. We have been extremely active in the transfer window bringing in six players and since Wayne Rooney’s appointment as our Head Coach we believe we have made major steps in putting together a roster that can both make a push to finish this season strong and build a foundation for us moving forward.”