Liverpool face fresh competition in the race to sign Christian Benteke this summer. The Belgian’s current club Aston Villa have promised to offer their star man a new contract, despite interest from a number of Premier League sides.
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Villa’s chief executive Tom Fox told BBC Sport that they would be offering the striker a contract, as they attempt to ward off interest from Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea – who have been tipped for moves by the Express.
As the BBC reports, Benteke has two years remaining on his current deal, which includes a £32.5m buyout clause. The 24-year-old scored 15 goals this season as he fired Villa to Premier League safety and the FA Cup final and has been widely tipped to move on this summer.
However, Fox believes his side can once again convince their player to stay, as they did in 2013, when Benteke signed a new four-year deal after initially handing in a transfer request.
“If Christian wanted to leave, would we stand in his way? It’s very difficult to make a blanket statement about a player wanting to leave,” he said.
“There has been a lot of speculation and I’m not going to contribute to it or play any of our transfer strategy out in the press. But we will offer Christian Benteke a new deal this summer, of course we will.”
The former Genk man, who signed for Villa in 2012, has netted 49 goals during his three-year Villa career. Fox also compared him to midfielder Fabian Delph, who was tipped to leave earlier this season before agreeing to stay.
“Every player has individual aspirations and the relationship they have with the club is different,” added Fox.
“Look at what happened with the re-signing of Fabian Delph, no-one would have thought that was possible or even something he should have done and yet he did it. It’s about the individual and the relationship he has with the club.”