Aston Villa offer Christian Benteke new contract

Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox has confirmed Christian Benteke will be offered a new contract this summer amid interest from clubs including Liverpool. The 24-year-old has been linked with a move to Liverpool, after scoring 15 goals in 37 games this season.

Benteke’s current contract has two years left to run and Villa manager Tim Sherwood has revealed the terms contain a buyout clause, which is reported to be worth £32.5 million. The striker signed that deal in July 2013 to end speculation linking him with a move to Tottenham, and Villa now hope to pull off a similar maneuver this summer.

Villa boss Tim Sherwood confirmed in May that the Belgium international’s contract contained a buyout clause, but would not say for how much.

“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,” said Fox. “But we will offer Christian Benteke a new deal this summer, of course we will.”

Fox hopes the forward will follow the lead of the Villa captain Fabian Delph, whose contract was due to expire this summer. Benteke unexpectedly committed his future to Villa by signing a new four-and-a-half year contract in January.

“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. So there isn’t a rule that would apply to that. It’s about the individual and the relationship he has with the club.”

Benteke, who joined Villa from Genk for £7m in 2012, signed a new four-year deal in 2013 after initially handing in a transfer request. Benteke has remained tight-lipped about the speculation regarding his future but Fox hopes the Belgian might follow the lead of Villa captain Fabian Delph.

“If Christian wanted to leave, would we stand in his way? I think to make a blanket statement about a player wanting to leave is very difficult,” Fox said. “Every player has individual aspirations and the relationship they have with the club is different.”

Benteke was announced as the Player of the Month for April. He played the full 90 minutes in the FA Cup Final as Villa lost 0–4 to Arsenal, being beaten to a header by Per Mertesacker for the third goal of the rout. He scored two goals in seven appearances during qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but was ruled out of the tournament finals with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

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