The Christian Benteke to Liverpool stories are simply refusing to go away, and they’re only likely to gain momentum now that Aston Villa have begun their search for a replacement.
The Mirror claim that Tim Sherwood’s men are ready to bid for £10m-rated Breel Embolo, who plies his trade for FC Basel in the Swiss leagues.
The 18-year-old, born in Cameroon, has already been capped three times by the Swiss national side and has bagged 18 top flight goals already – outlining his outstanding talent.
In stylistic terms, he’s similar to Benteke. Both pride themselves on power, strength and holdup play – although the older Belgian is a far more prominent aerial threat.
The Guardian claim that Villa’s 24-year-old striker has told Tim Sherwood and club officials that he wants to leave – although right now – Liverpool are refusing to meet their £32.5m valuation.
Villa targeting a relatively expensive forward is certainly an indication that Benteke might be sold. Earlier on this summer, Southampton only accepted our offer for Nathaniel Clyne once they’d completed a deal for Cedric Soares (via BBC Sport).
By buying a replacement before selling the wantaway player, Club A avoids being held to ransom by Club B – who are aware of the transfer fee Club A has just received, and their need for an immediate replacement.
So the news that Villa want Embolo suggests they might have accepted Benteke’s desire to leave, and are making appropriate contingency plans.