Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has insisted star striker Christian Benteke is not for sale, amid reported interest from Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City, according to Sky Sports.

The Belgian international joined the West Midlands club from Genk in a £8m deal last summer. And he's gone onto become one of Villa's rare bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season.

But the 22-year-old's performances in a Villa shirt have attracted interest from the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and City. The young forward has 10 caps for Belgium, and is part of a hugely talented generation of Belgian players - several of whom play in the Premier League.

The relegation strugglers face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, and speaking prior to the game, Lambert moved to reject suggestions Benteke is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Lambert said: "Christian is playing very well for us and that's the main thing. It doesn't concern me who he is linked with and who he is not linked with.

"It proves he's doing well for me and doing well for himself. That doesn't interest me, what other people think. I don't read the headlines. I just get told.

"As far as I'm concerned, the guy is here and he isn't going anywhere until I say so or not really. That's the bottom line.

"He's a really top lad, really humble, and if he keeps doing what he's doing, he'll be a top, top player.

"The big lad has been phenomenal for us. He is 22, he has got so much to learn and so much to give the game.

"What he has done for this club, in the short time he has been here, he has got to sustain that, not just over a year - it has got to be for the rest of his career."

Benteke is Villa's top scorer with 15 goals - he also has three for Belgium since the start of the 2012/13 season - and he's contributed a massive 44 per cent of Villa's league goals this campaign. The next highest scorer is Andreas Weimann with nine.

 

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