Aston Villa have confirmed that Belgian striker Christian Benteke has handed in a transfer request at the club.
The Villa Park executives have also confirmed that they will not stand in the way of a potential transfer, but only if the correct offer is tabled.
The Belgian giant scored 19 goals in what was his first Premier League campaign, single handedly saving Villa from the drop last season. But it seems that Benteke feels that his future lies elsewhere, potentially at a higher level following his £7m transfer from Genk.
Fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur had been linked with a move for the Villa man earlier this summer, but the media speculation cooled following reports that Benteke wanted to stay in the Midlands. Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were also one of the teams thought to be interested in a potential move for the striker, as Jose Mourinho begins his overhaul of the current Chelsea squad.
Villa have released an official statement that confirms Benteke's wishes to leave the club, but have rejected reports suggesting the Belgian had refused to attend the club's pre-season tour of Germany, where they will play Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund.
The statement read: "In response to reports that Christian Benteke has not travelled to Germany with the club and has made a transfer request, we can confirm that both are accurate.
"For clarity's sake, however, he had already been given extra time off until July 18th and 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.
"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. But he will remain a Villa player should this not happen."
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