Manchester United officials are confident of securing the services of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke by the end of the week.
This has been reported by The Sun, who claim that the Old Trafford outfit are ready to bring the Belgian international to the club, as they go about replacing the duo of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, who have both departed the Theatre of Dreams.
Benteke, who is still only 24-years of age, is recognised as one of the leading strikers in the Premier League, so it's not entirely surprising that Red Devils chief Louis van Gaal is looking to bring him to Manchester.
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The report goes on to claim that Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood wants to keep the forward at the club, but is well aware that he won't be able to stop Benteke moving on if United step up their interest.
In fact, if the Red Devils offer £32.5 million - the player's buy-out clause - then Villa will have to accept the offer, meaning Benteke could star in Manchester in 2015/16.
This news, then, will no doubt come as a major blow to Manchester United's great rivals Liverpool, who have been heavily linked with a move for the Belgian ace of late.
Reds chief Brendan Rodgers seems determined to improve his front line at Anfiled, but may now see one of his main targets join United in this window.
United, of course, have been on the rampage of late, having secured the signatures of the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger in recent days. And with Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian also at the club, Benteke could become Van Gaal's fifth major signing of the summer, as the Dutch boss goes in search of securing success on both the domestic and European scene.
A different option
But is Benteke the right man? In truth, it's difficult to answer. Ok, so the forward isn't exactly the world-class name some United fans would have been hoping to see arrive through the Old Trafford gates this summer, but he certainly has something about him.
At the end of the day, he's already a proven Premier League striker and, at 24, has room to grow and establish himself further. He'd offer the Red Devils a different option, too, and would surely relish playing with the likes of Juan Mata, Angel di Maria and Memphis Depay, who would create a great deal of chances for him.
One thing's for sure, United are in need of a new striker, so perhaps Benteke would be the ideal man to play back-up to Wayne Rooney. £32.5m, though, is a lot to pay for a back-up...
Manchester United fans: Do you want Benteke at Old Trafford? Have your say below!
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