Liverpool have been handed a major boost in their bid to land a recognised Barclays Premier League goalscorer during the summer transfer window, Guardian Sport reports, as Christian Benteke is to request Aston Villa departure.
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After struggling for goals last season, the Reds have already added Danny Ings to their squad [via BBC Sport], but they are in the market for at least one more new arrival in the striker department and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke is at the top of Brendan Rodgers’s wishlist.
The Belgian international has emerged as a strong transfer target for the Reds since the end of last season [via Star Sport] and he is set to ask for a move away from Villa Park in order to push through a move to Anfield.
The Villains remain insistent that they won’t do any business unless Benteke’s £32.5 millon release clause is met, but they could face the prospect of an unhappy player at the club next season should the Reds refuse to match the valuation.
Benteke was on fire in front of goal during the second half of last season as he rediscovered pre-Achilles injury [via BBC Sport] form to drag Villa away from the relegation zone and even scored the crucial equaliser against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final victory in April.
A lack of goals in the Liverpool team last year is what ultimately cost them a place in the top four and a move for Benteke would go some way into to correcting that problem.
The 24-year-old found the back of the net 13 times in 29 league appearances for Villa [via Who Scored] and that total is more than the combined efforts of Daniel Sturridge, Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert (eight).
Steven Gerrard was the Reds top scorer in the league with nine goals, which is a stark contrast to the 31 scored by Luis Suarez in his final season at Anfield before departing for Barcelona last summer.
The Uruguayan has proven to be a difficult player to replace for Rodgers and with a tough start to the new season on the horizon, it’s vital they have someone scoring the goals or it could be another disappointing campaign for the Merseyside outfit.
Should Liverpool move for Benteke, they may yet face competition from Manchester United. The Red Devils are keen to bolster their offensive options, and talkSPORT have reported that they are considering a move for the Belgian striker.