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Premier League striker eying exit as Tottenham and Arsenal circle

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Football News

Christian Benteke will leave Aston Villa at the end of the season if they are relegated - and could leave Villa Park regardless amidst interest from numerous Premier League big boys, according to the Express and Star.

Benteke has attracted interest from numerous Premier League clubs this season after a string of impressive performances since his £7 million summer move from Genk.

The Belgian forward has scored 15 goals this season for an Aston Villa side in the midst of a relegation battle - they sit one point above the drop zone - with Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea believed to be interested in securing his services in the summer.

According to the the Midlands-based Express and Star, Benteke will certainly leave the Villans if they fail to avoid the drop, and could leave even if they do.

Benteke's agent, Kismet Eris, insisted that his client was committed to helping Villa avoid relegation, but left the door open to a move in the future.

“Right now his focus is on Villa – and helping them stay in the Premier League. He wants to repay Paul Lambert for the faith that has been shown in him,” he said.

“He has scored a lot of goals this season and wants to give 100 per cent between now and the end of the season. It is normal that, if you go to a club and do well, then other clubs will show an interest. Christian has shown that he can play in England. So why not take the step up to the next level if the opportunity is there?

“At the end of the season interested clubs will talk to Villa – but it has to be right for Villa, the buying club and Christian. If all three parties are agreeable, then something could happen.

“But Villa will now ask a big price for Christian, much more than they paid for him, because Paul Lambert was the one who gave him his chance.”

“There will be clubs asking about Christian next summer because he’s proved he can do it in England. None of the big clubs wanted to take a chance on Christian when he was still unknown.

“I have been with Christian for 10 years now. I know what his ambitions are – he wants to do well in England.”

Spurs are said to be leading the race for the 22-year-old's signature, while Arsenal and Chelsea are believed to be monitoring developments as well.

Tottenham appear short of options in attack after failing to land a striker in the January transfer window, and could move for Benteke after boss Andre Villas-Boas insisted his long-term interest in Leandro Damiao was over following a failed move for Brazilian forward on deadline day.

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