Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City target Christian Benteke has handed in a transfer request to his club Aston Villa.
According to the Mirror, Villains boss Paul lambert was desperate to hold in to the Belgium international and was determined to resist advances from Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane and the Etihad Stadium.
It now appears as though Jose Mourinho’s and Andre Villas-Boas’ reported interest in a striker rated at £25million has done the trick.
The report claims Benteke has not travelled with the rest of the squad on their pre-season tour of Germany after telling lambert he wants to leave.
He has reportedly cited the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as the driving factor behind his decision, as he is keen to get first team football at a top club in order to better his chances of a starting sport in the Belgium national team.
Despite recent reports claiming Chelsea were favourites to land the tall striker, this report hints that Tottenham may well be in pole position to snap him up.
Benteke has won many admirers during his first season in the Premeir League following an £8million move from Genk.
The 22-year-old scored 19 league goals last season and almost single-handedly saved Villas from relegation.
Lambert was hoping to hang onto Benteke by offering an improved deal that would double his current wages, but it appears as though the lure of playing at a big club has proved to good to ignore.
Aston Villa released a statement in response to the news breaking and admitted a transfer request had been handed in, though they insisted no bid had been received.
The statement went on to say they expected Benteke to remain a Villa player next season and would plan for him remaining until an acceptable bid has been made.
"While we're hugely disappointed that Christian has put in a transfer request, it's important that people appreciate we are trying to build something strong and vibrant here at the club - something this club demands and stands for, and we want Christian to be part of that," Lambert is quoted as saying by the BBC.
"Having received his transfer request, we have also informed him that should we receive an offer within an appropriate timeframe during pre-season which meets our valuation, we would act upon it," said the separate club statement.
"But he will remain a Villa player should this not happen.
"He was reminded that there are three years remaining on his contract, we consider him to be a Villa player and expect that he will be with us for the 2013-14 season."
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