We will have to stump up £32.5m this summer if we want to sign Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke. That’s according to the Liverpool Echo, who carry quotes from Villa manager Tim Sherwood as he discusses his player’s future.
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Liverpool transfer news
Sherwood has admitted that the Belgian does indeed have a buyout clause in his contract, but has also told reporters that he is refusing to give up on the idea of convincing his player to stay put.
Speaking in the build up to Villa’s FA Cup final meeting with Arsenal – which takes place this Saturday – Sherwood was adamant in his comments regarding the 24-year-old hit-man.
“There’s a buy-out clause in his contract so it will be impossible for us to stop him if he wants to go,” he said.
“Someone’s got to meet that buy-out clause and if they don’t it won’t be considered because we don’t want to lose him. I don’t know what the figure is but I believe it will be quite substantial. He’s made no indication that he wants to leave. I’ve not had a conversation with him.
“This is still a huge football club. It’s up to the individual to make that decision, I can’t make it for him. I want him to stay here. I don’t think he should be moving clubs before a European Championship. It’s a tournament where you feel that Belgium will be one of the favourites to win it. By playing for Aston Villa it hasn’t hindered him being the first choice at Belgium up to now.
“If he were to stay here and score at the ratio that he has since I took over, and ends up with 20 or 30 goals next season and then has a good Euros, he is probably playing for Real Madrid (in 2016). Christian could go to the best club in the world if he scores 30 goals next season. He could be that good.
“I think we cross more balls into the box than any club in the league and I think Christian says he feeds off crosses. There’s no point going to a club where they don’t cross the ball.
“All he’s got to do is look at history and see what has happened to players who have left. They’re going to pastures new, bigger and better and they don’t actually play so they end up looking for a new home.”
Benteke has been in fine form this season, scoring 15 goals in all competitions, including 12 in the last 12 games. His success has helped fire Villa to Premier League safety and seen them reach the cup final, beating us along the way.
It’s completely understandable, with that in mind, that Sherwood would fight so hard to keep his player. However, to suggest that Benteke would struggle to adapt to playing at Liverpool is foolish, regardless of whether they cross the ball more than us or not.
This season has proved that we need fresh ideas up front and we’re going to have to adapt to match the players coming in. We can’t just expect them to come in and fit straight into our system. Benteke is no Luis Suarez, but we have to accept that we’re not going to be getting a player of that calibre this summer.
Benteke is strong, powerful and, for a big man, not all that slow. If we can get a deal done then surely this one is going to happen.