Aston Villa identify Benteke replacements

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Manchester United are reported to have identified Christian Benteke as a somewhat surprising January transfer target. This supposed interest has led Aston Villa to identify potential replacements for the Belgian, of which PSV Eindhoven's Jurgen Locadia is one.

Benteke has established himself as one of the most dangerous goalscorers in the Premier League since his arrival in the summer of 2012, finding the net 19 times during his maiden season in the English top-flight.

This prolific form led to links with Chelsea and Tottenham, before prompting Aston Villa to ensure the 23-year-old committed to a more lucrative long-term contract.

According to the Daily Mail, this improved deal may not deter Manchester United, who have discussed Benteke as a potential acquisition to reinforce a strikeforce that is already able to count Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck among its esteemed number.

Despite Benteke's four-year contract - only signed in July - placing Villa in a position of power were an approach to be made, Paul Lambert has already outlined possible targets should another club be able to prise the player away from Villa Park.

Locadia could be the player Villa recruit if Benteke does leave, it has been claimed, with the 20-year-old having impressed since being afforded regular opportunities in the PSV first-team.

The Netherlands under-21 international has scored 18 goals in 40 appearances for the Eredivisie giants.

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