Arsenal & Tottenham told £30m Belgium striker not for sale
Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool & Tottenham transfer news: Aston Villa desperate to keep hold of Christian Benteke
Villa chairman Randy Lerner has slapped a minimum £30m valuation on the Belgian international, hoping to scare off the Premier League giants. Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool have all been linked with the 22-year-old, but Villa would even be prepared to reject a £30m offer this summer.
The club's record transfer fee received currently is James Milner's £26m-plus-Stephen-Ireland deal paid by Manchester City.
Benteke moved to Villa from Genk in a £7m deal last summer, but has enjoyed a stunning debut season, scoring 18 Premier League goals in his first campaign so far.
His form has prompted speculation a Champions League contender could swoop, especially as Villa hover precariously over the relegation zone.
They chalked up a huge result on Monday night though, as a Benteke hat-trick inspired them to a crucial 6-1 home victory over fellow strugglers Sunderland.
Villa boss Paul Lambert hailed Benteke as 'world class' after the match, and he's keen to build his squad around the striker this summer.
The report claims the £30m valuation is likely to lead to a cooling of interest in the forward, with Tottenham and Arsenal set to explore other options.
Villa have sold their top stars over the past few seasons, with Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Milner and Gareth Barry all departing in recent years.