Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke could be the perfect replacement for Mattia Destro if the forward leaves Serie A giants Roma when the transfer window reopens next month.
The Belgian forward is the talisman of Paul Lambert’s side, but with the club currently entrenched in a battle against relegation he may leap at the chance of joining one of the strongest sides in Italy.
He handed in a transfer request last summer amid interest from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur only to remain at Villa Park, but may depart to fill the void left by Destro who could be set for a move to the Premier League.
Benteke underlined his importance to Villa at the weekend with a splendid goal against Manchester United, with that strike against Louis Van Gaal’s men just his second goal of the season.
His best campaign in English football was also his first, and after moving from Genk in his homeland became of the stars of the season to net 23 times in 39 appearances and fire the club to 15th in the league table.
Last season was marred by injuries and inconsistencies but despite not finding the net for 12 games ended the season with 11 goals from 28 games, though missed out on a chance of playing in the World Cup in Brazil after rupturing his Achilles tendon.
This year Villa have been poorer than ever, but will hope his wonderful strike on Saturday can trigger a goalscoring spree with the 24-year-old their best hope of preventing dropping down to the Championship.
Any possible move to the Italian capital may hinge on what manager Rudi Garcia decides to do about Destro, who is reportedly keen to leave for a new challenge in England.
With Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck capable but not consistent, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal are the frontrunners for his signature with the forward’s proven record at the highest level making him an appealing option for the North London side in their bid to secure Champions League football for next season.
Despite welcoming Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge just a few months ago, Chelsea are also interested with Jose Mourinho keen to assemble a squad capable of winning both the Premier League and Champions League title after last year’s trophyless campaign.
Tottenham have also been linked with the forward in the past, but with Harry Kane amongst the goals and Jay Rodriguez of Southampton their number one target for January they may opt to place their interest elsewhere.