Villa Park hitman wants to leave according to reports.
Christian Benteke is ready to quit Aston Villa after just a season with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all considering a move for the giant Belgian.
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Benteke has been a revelation in the Premier League this season since moving to Villa Park in an £8million deal from Genk, with his form and 14 goals in a Villa shirt making the Premier League big guns stand up and take notice.
According to the Daily Mirror, Benteke has expressed his desire to leave struggling Aston Villa in the summer with Arsenal understood to be leading the race for his signature in the summer as they look to add more firepower to the ranks at the Emirates Stadium.
“When the guy came into Villa, people were saying to me ‘who is he and why are you going for someone from Genk?”‘ Lambert said in his pre-match press conference. “With what he’s done, he’s a cult hero already.
“He’s only 22 and he’s got years and years ahead of him. He’s not at his peak, but what he’s done for me and for the club is fantastic. If someone wanted to buy Christian, they’d better have a few quid in their pocket.”
Villa manager Paul Lambert, however, he is not expecting the 22-year-old to leave the club – but insisted he would want at least double the money he paid Belgian side Genk to even consider the possibility of allowing Benteke to leave.
Asked if his value had increased, Lambert said: “Yes, by miles. He’s not just going to walk out of here for the value he came for, that’s for sure.
“We have given him the opportunity to show what he can do and I think he is loving his football at the moment.”
“If that’s the whispers coming back then it’s funny that because he doesn’t speak! I’ve not heard it. He’s a cracking big guy and really humble. If he keeps that, he could be anything he wants to be.”
Arsenal have given up their pursuit of Barcelona striker David Villa and are considering a swoop for Fiorentina’s £25million man Stevan Jovetic instead.