Liverpool are set to go after Aston Villa star Christian Benteke again after they signed Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim, reports the Daily Star.
Liverpool transfer news
Liverpool linked with £10.5m move to make Xherdan Shaqiri their sixth summer signing
Liverpool transfers: Power ranking the Reds’ five signings so far, with new striker only 3rd
It had been reported by the Daily Telegraph that the Reds had been put off the 24-year-old because of the Villans’ insistence that they pay the player’s £32.5m release clause. However, it seems that after spending big on bringing in Firmino for £29m they could be interested again.
The Anfield hierarchy are still unsure about meeting that price, but are keen to negotiate with the Midlands’ team to see exactly what is expected of them should they go through with a move for the Belgian. They can then make an informed decision over whether to sign the forward. Recently they have been linked to Sevilla star Carlos Bacca and Zenit Saint Petersburg ace Salomon Rondon by The Independent as other options to Benteke.
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told his star player to aim higher than the Merseyside club, as reported by The Guardian. This could tempt the striker to stay another season at Villa Park and try to earn a move to a more successful side.
The former Tottenham boss said: “We’re building up to a European Championship, which is a huge stage for Christian, and a tournament where you feel that Belgium will be one of the favourites to win it. By playing for Aston Villa it hasn’t hindered him being the first choice for Belgium up to now.
“If he were to stay here and score at the ratio that he has since I took over, and ends up with 20 or 30 goals next season and then has a good Euros, he is probably playing for Real Madrid [in 2016]. Christian could go to the best club in the world if he scores 30 goals next season. He could be that good.”
Benteke could be Liverpool’s sixth signing of the summer. They have already brought in James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, and the aforementioned Firmino, and the Villa man could add a goalscorer to the group.
Last season the Reds struggled to score goals after losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona the summer before. In addition, Daniel Sturridge was injured for much of the campaign, while Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini, and Mario Balotelli failed to impress when given chances. Winger Raheem Sterling even had to play up front at times due to the lack of options in that department, though he only managed eight goals in total, highlighting this as a clear problem position for the team.
The Daily Star adds that Sterling could still be on his way to Manchester City this summer, potentially giving Liverpool enough money to make a big move for a player of Benteke’s calibre.