Liverpool have met Christian Benteke’s Aston Villa release clause of £32.5million, and are expected to sign him in the coming days as a result.
The Belgian striker has been a target for a host of Premier League clubs after his resurgence in form under Tim Sherwood last season. The only thing that was thought to be holding him back from moving on to pastures new was his hefty release clause, but it appears that’s no longer a problem.
Talks can now happen
Despite reports strongly hinting that Benteke could join free-spending Manchester United this summer it’s Liverpool who have agreed to pay £32.5m to Villa, according to ITV.
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It’s also said that Anfield chief Ian Ayre will be talking with the Midlands-based club imminently, as the Reds’ action means that they can now try and negotiate personal terms.
The Independent say that Benteke will not feature in Villa’s pre-season friendly against Braga later on today, and will firmly push for a departure.
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Liverpool transfer on
The 24-year-old was tipped to join a top four club back in 2013, but at that point in time decided to pledge his future to Villa instead, putting pen to paper on a new deal that surprised many. Two years later though, and with things looking far less rosy at Villa Park, he’s decided enough is enough, and has already rejected a new deal to stay there.
All of the factors point to the idea that he’ll be playing for Brendan Rodgers next season, and the Northern Irishman could certainly do with his help.
Since the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona around 12 months ago Rodgers has been under increasing pressure to get his team firing on all cylinders, and the club’s transfer activity thus far would indicate that he is well aware.
If Benteke signs he’ll become the fifth major purchase the club has made so far this summer, with Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne having already completed moves to Merseyside.
Whilst the latter two are both proven Premier League players it’s the former duo that will likely excite fans the most.
One look at Firmino’s YouTube reel from his time at Hoffenheim - as dangerous as that can be to draw assessments from - shows his aptitude when it comes to finding the back of the net, and Ings’ goal-scoring capabilities in English football need no dressing up after last season.
Liverpool fans, do you think the deal for Benteke is virtually done? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.