Liverpoool activate release clause of Belgian Striker
Liverpool have made Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke’s release clause according to reliable sources.
Christian Benteke looks set to leave Aston Villa with Liverpool ready to meet the forward’s £32.5m exit clause.
— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) July 16, 2015
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) July 16, 2015
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers identified the 24 year old target man as his to target for the summer but hesitated to pay more than £25 million for him where as the Belgian had a relaese clause of £32.5 million in his Villa contract.
Liverpool recently sold winger Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for £49 million and now they are splashing the cash on their top priority striker.
Brendan Rodgers is a big admirer of Benteke and had placed him at the top of his summer wish-list as he looked to bolster the club’s firepower.
Benteke, who has two years remaining on his Villa contract, has his heart set on a move to Anfield and once the £32.5million offer is received by the Midlanders he will be free to negotiate personal terms and undergo a medical.
That outlay will take Liverpool’s summer spending to around the £80million mark following deals for James Milner, Danny Ings, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Adam Bogdan and Roberto Firmino.
Villa will have to pass on around £4million of the fee to Benteke’s former club Genk.
Benteke scored 49 goals in 101 appearances for Villa over the past three seasons.
He was sidelined for six months after rupturing his Achilles in April 2014 and initially struggled on his return to action last season. But following the appointment of boss Tim Sherwood he hit top form – scoring a dozen goals in his last 12 matches to save Villa from relegation.
Kop legend Robbie Fowler recently told the ECHO that he believed Benteke would be the perfect addition to Rodgers’ squad.
“It’s important we get a proven goalscorer and of the names being bandied about I’d go for Benteke. I think he’s excellent,” Fowler said.
“In terms of all-round play – strength, speed, physicality, finishing – I think Benteke could be the main man for Liverpool.
“I’ve watched him a lot and he’s not just a targetman. He can hold the ball well and bring others into play but he’s also mobile and keeps defenders on their toes.
“I think he’s ideal for the way Brendan wants to play. It’s probably what we lacked at times last season. We had forwards who wanted to drop deep to get involved with the play and we always had that gap up front.
“With a Benteke type, you have someone who will stay up there and stretch defenders. He scores goals, he’s a threat and a real handful for defenders. I think he’s probably the perfect player for us.
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