Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke's future is set to be decided later this week after ongoing talks with boss Paul Lambert.
The 22-year-old striker, who signed from Genk for roughly £7m last summer, has attracted a lot of interest after a thoroughly impressive debut season.
The giant Belgian has netted 23 goals this year, including 19 in the Premier League, and was central to stopping the Midlands club sliding deeper into a relegation battle. His performances also led to a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
Lambert has heaped praise on the youngster and admits the club is keen to offer him a new deal to ward off potential suitors.
"I think it’s important we keep the nucleus of lads we have here and add to that," the Scot stated. "Christian, since the turn of the year, is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in goalscoring.
"We have been speaking for the last few weeks there so we will see what happens. He has been fantastic in the way he has been performing."
Although Benteke only signed a four-year contract last year, an improved deal may tempt him to stay. Having been nailed on to leave if the club had been relegated, with Arsenal and Liverpool rumoured to be interested, Benteke may now be persuaded to stay, with Lambert hoping to build his team around the prolific marksman.
With the 2014 World Cup on the horizon, playing week-in week-out may hold the key to Benteke cementing his place in the Belgian national side ahead of Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku - something which a club vying for Champions League places may not be able to offer him.
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