Home » EPL, Latest » Liverpool now set to bid £32.5m to land Christian Benteke

christian-benteke-aston-villa2Liverpool will meet Christian Benteke’s £32.5million Aston Villa exit clause as they close in on the signing of their number one summer transfer target.

After weeks of negotiations with Villa – when the Merseyside club initially refused to match the stipulated asking price – there has been a change of mood at Anfield over the last 24 hours and a bid will now be submitted.

There is recognition Villa will not relent on the fee and if Liverpool want the player in time to enable him plenty of preparation with his new team mates before their season opener with Stoke City, the clause must be triggered. That will now happen.

A fresh offer – which is imminent – will come as a relief to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who has been eager to secure the services of the 24-year-old since the end of last season.

Liverpool first made contact with Villa with a valuation between £20million and £25million, but the Midlands side were never interested in dealing at that price.

In recent days there have been suggestions Manchester United were preparing to rival Liverpool for the Belgian, meeting the sale clause.

There is some cynicism about the strength of United’s interest and whether it was exaggerated to prompt Liverpool into action.

hether that is the case or not, Rodgers would have been acutely aware that the longer the issues dragged on the greater the risk a rival would eventually step in.

Neither he, nor his club, could afford a repeat of last summer when Alexis Sanchez was the number one striking target to replace Luis Suarez. His decision to join Arsenal had a catastrophic knock-on impact in the final weeks of the transfer window. Liverpool ended up having to take an ill-advised risk, culminating in the purchase of Mario Balotelli – undoubtedly one of the major factors in what proved a poor season.

A bid of £32.5million for Benteke should ensure Rodgers has all the elements of his new look squad in position – potentially by the weekend – while across the board Liverpool’s transfer policy this summer has a more uniform and less hazardous look to it.

The likes of Benteke, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Ings and James Milner have Rodgers’s stamp all over them and he will be far more enthused by every facet of his squad this year than 12 months ago. Liverpool are certainly backing their manager 100 per cent with their summer moves.

With the obstacle to Benteke’s switch to Anfield now about to be removed, Rodgers will want to offload those who have no future at the club.

Fabio Borini is interesting West Ham, and the lingering question is who will move for Balotelli who was left out of Liverpool’s pre-season tour. Liverpool may have no option but to let him leave on loan.

Rodgers’ forward positions will be contested by Benteke, Ings, youngster Divock Origi and – when he eventually returns from injury – Daniel Sturridge.

 

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