Liverpool are preparing to submit an opening offer for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, but will only do so after Villa’s FA Cup final meeting with Arsenal on Saturday.
According to reports in The Times, we are anxious not to irritate Villa with a bid in the build-up to their final game of the season, although we remain intent on getting a deal done soon after their Wembley outing.
Despite initial reports – such as this from the Daily Express – claiming that Benteke would be likely to cost in the region of £30m, the Times’ Tony Barrett believes that a bid in excess of £20m could be enough to persuade Villa to sell.
That’s despite Benteke playing a starring role in their success so far this season, with his 15 goals in all competitions both steering Tim Sherwood’s side clear of relegation and helping them reach a first FA Cup final since 2000.
Brendan Rodgers wants Benteke to head his new-look strikeforce next season, after seeing his team struggle for goals during the current campaign. Star striker Daniel Sturridge has missed much of the season through injury, while the likes of Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini have not provided the goals that were hoped for.