Liverpool offer striker in swap deal to sign £30m Chelsea transfer target

Liverpool hope to move ahead of rivals Chelsea in the running to sign one of the Premier League’s best strikers this summer, as they offer Rickie Lambert as part of a deal to sign Aston Villa star Christian Benteke.

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The Reds are determined to beat the Blues to the signing of the in-form Belgian international, who has 15 goals and two assists in 29 games in all competitions this season since returning from a lengthy injury layoff.

Liverpool lost Luis Suarez to Barcelona last summer and are still in need of a replacement up front, and Benteke’s recent form has convinced manager Brendan Rodgers to make a move for him.

Lambert could be offered as a makeweight in the deal, according to the Daily Mirror, with the England veteran forward not making the desired impact in his single season at Anfield.

The former Southampton man could relish the chance to move somewhere where he is first choice again, while Villa would be glad to bring in a new player up front to cope with Benteke’s departure.

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