Mel admitted he was interested in signing the Belgian international last summer while he was in charge at Real Betis.
He said: "I actually asked Betis to buy him but the answer came back that he was too expensive.
"Benteke is well known in Spain and well respected. At Betis. Like here, I was head coach and other people did the business side of things.
"We played with wingers at Betis and needed someone to put the ball in the back of the net. He fitted the bill perfectly."
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