Liverpool are now odds-on favourites to sign striker Christian Benteke in the summer transfer window.
The Belgian striker has been linked with a move away from Aston Villa, who paid £7million to bring the 24-year-old to Villa Park from Genk back in August 2012.
£32m release clause
Benteke would now command a significantly larger fee, with a £32million release clause in his contract. The Sun claims that figure would not be an issue for Manchester United, who are plotting a bid for the former Standard Liege hitman.
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However, SkyBet have little doubt that Liverpool are in pole position to complete a deal ahead of their rivals, offering odds of 1/3 that Brendan Rodgers wins the race for the 24-cap international and completes a deal before September 3rd.
It's 100/30 that Benteke remains with the Villains, whilst the Red Devils are next in the market at 11/4. That's followed by a string of clubs at 33/1, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all available at that price.
Positive transfer news
If Liverpool do win the race for Benteke, it will be a positive piece of transfer news after a difficult week at Anfield. Raheem Sterling is poised to join Manchester City for £49million, whilst rising star Jerome Sinclair is also stalling on a new deal.
It's not all been bad news during the window thus far though, with James Milner joining on a free transfer and Danny Ings signing for what is expected to be a nominal fee. Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne are also new additions at Anfield.
United's transfer dealings
Manchester United, meanwhile, have been very busy in the window this week, adding Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian to their squad ahead of the pre-season tour in America.
Memphis Depay has also been drafted in at Old Trafford by manager Louis van Gaal, but the bookmakers clearly believe the Dutchman will not be adding Benteke to his Red Devils side anytime soon.
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