The Reds will test Aston Villa’s resolve to hang on to striker Christian Benteke this week, according to reports in The Times. Despite our apparent interest in Sevilla’s Carlos Bacca (via the Mirror), the Belgian remains a major target for us, with the source claiming that a £25m bid is imminent.
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Both The Times and the Mirror agree that we are set to step up our interest in a striker, with such an addition now a priority following the reported completion of our deal for Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne, which will be confirmed next week (via The Telegraph).
Our interest in Benteke had look to have faltered over recent weeks, with Villa refusing to budge of their £32.5m asking price, which is also – according to The Times – the player’s buyout clause.
However, the source believes that we are going to return with an official bid in the coming days to see whether Tim Sherwood’s side intent to stick by their word on the matter.
The Liverpool bosses are seemingly hoping that a compromise can be reached but know that, if it can’t, Bacca is available for around the £21m mark – as the Mirror states.
What could work in our favour, in terms of a deal for Benteke, is that the striker only has two years left on his current contract. He’s also, according to The Times, ruled out any possibility of signing a new one. This means that if Villa don’t sell now, then his valuation is only going to drop as he edges closer to leaving on a free.
Unfortunately, this news is unlikely to go down well with Liverpool fans, many of whom appear to favour a move for Bacca. The Colombian scored 28 goals last season, 13 more than the Villa man, while he also helped his side win the Europa League for the second year in succession.
The third and final option for the position appears to be Salomon Rondon, who currently plays for Zenit St Petersburg and has been linked to us by Sky Sports.