Danny Murphy has advised Liverpool to steer clear of signing Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke.
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The forward has been linked with several Premier League clubs this summer following his fine form towards the end of the campaign.
However Murphy has insisted that the Belgium international is not yet ready for a move to one of the EPL’s top dogs.
“The problem is they’re never going to pay £32.5 million to get him because last season he didn’t play well enough for a long enough and that was partly down to injuries,” the ex-England midfielder began, speaking to TalkSPORT.
“I would suggest to him stay another year [at Villa], play 35 games, get 20 goals, and then you might get a move to one of the big boys,
“He’s a risky signing for a club to spend £32.5 million on now. Inevitably when you have a really difficult injury it’s very hard to come back and play at your best level,” Murphy continued.
“I think because he’s got age on his side, staying at Villa and having a sensational season might benefit him better in the long-term.”
Despite being injured for large portions of Paul Lambert’s final few months in charge at Villa Park, Benteke returned to form under new boss Tim Sherwood.
He scored 13 goals in 29 Premier League outings last season, and also bagged two in five showings in the FA Cup.
Despite flopping in the final against Arsenal, his upturn in form has not stopped a whole host of clubs from being linked to his signature.
According to the Metro, Chelsea are keen on the 24-year-old, with Jose Mourinho looking to bring the forward in as a potential replacement for one of Didier Drogba—who has already left the club—and Loic Remy, who has been linked to the exit door.
Liverpool are also believed to be keen on the hitman, although the Metro doubt that Brendan Rodgers’s side would be willing to pay the player’s £32 million release clause in order to prise him from the Birmingham giants.
Sky Sports reported earlier this week that the forward is unwilling to sign a new contract at Villa, as he eyes a move to one of the Premier League’s top sides.
BREAKING: Sky sources: Benteke will not sign new contract with Aston Villa. #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) June 22, 2015
It remains to be seen, however, whether one of the division’s top six will make a move for the injury-prone striker.