Arsenal & Tottenham striker target's contract talks on hold

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Aston Villa will delay any discussions with Christian Benteke regarding a new contract until the end of the season, amid reported interest in the Belgian striker from both Arsenal and Tottenham.

Reports earlier this week claimed Villa had begun preliminary talks with Benteke regarding an improved deal, although the offer would only be on the table were the Midlands club able to guarantee their place in the Premier League for next season.

Arsenal and Tottenham are both reported to be monitoring the situation of Benteke, who has scored 19 times in all competitions for Villa this season, as Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas make plans to reinforce their respective squads in the summer transfer window.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, however, is ignoring any speculation about a new deal for Benteke as Arsenal and Tottenham lurk in the shadows, and says everything will be reviewed come the end of the season.

Villa are just two points clear of the relegation zone with only six games remaining, while third from bottom Wigan retain a game in hand over Lambert's side.

"I think the most important thing is the league. We’re waiting until the end of the season," Lambert told Express and Star.

"If somebody is saying that Villa have promised him a new contract, then I can’t have been part of the conversations.

"I speak to him all the time – not about contracts – basically to just keep him going. He’s never once mentioned anything about contracts.

"He’s got a contract here anyway as it stands. I think it’s important we stay in this league.

"I have never had one conversation with him regarding contracts or anything like that – he’s not like that, he’s not that type of lad.

"I’m sure come the end of the season, we’ll sit down, not just with Christian but with a few others."

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