Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will have to bid big if they want to land Christian Benteke, as hic club are determined not to sell him.
According to the Daily Mirror, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has told owner Randy Lerner he must not let him go under any circumstances as the likes of Arsene Wenger, Roberto Mancini and Andre Villas-Boas are said to be interested.
There is not only interest out of Emirates Stadium, White Hart Lane and the Etihad Stadium for the 22-year-old; other reports claim Inter Milan are also mulling over a summer offer.
Arsenal have been inconsistent in attack this season and Benteke has been in sparkling form since his £8million move from Genk last summer, so could provide some extra firepower.
Manchester City failed to replace Mario Balotelli in January after he was sold to AC Milan and the Citizens have lacked the cutting edge in attack they showed last season on the way to the Premier League title.
Meanwhile, Spurs have had to rely on the goals of Gareth Bale as injury concerns for Jermain Defoe, coupled with Emmanuel Adebayor’s poor form, have made the central position a worry for manager Villas-Boas.
The Mirror report claims Lambert is desperate to hold on to the Belgium international as he wants to build a team around him.
Benteke has proved to be a constant threat to Premier League defences and has scored 13 times for the Villains in the league.
His form has been so good that established Premier League goalscorer Darren Bent has been consigned to a bit part role this season.
Villa are embroiled in a relegation battle and any hope of hanging on to Benteke would likely evaporate should they go down.
Turning down bids from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham would be hard to justify in the face of the serious financial hit Villa would have to endure were they to drop down a league.