Chelsea Join Liverpool In Race For Powerful Striker, Clubs Willing To Pay £20m
Chelsea have joined Liverpool in the race for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke but the duo are reluctant to meet his £32.5m buy-out clause.
As the opening of the summer transfer window approaches, managers are working hard identifying targets and lining-up potential deals so we’ll bring you all the news and gossip. Today, Chelsea are ready to battle Liverpool for Christian Benteke….
Chelsea have joined Liverpool in the race for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke but the duo are reluctant to meet his £32.5m buy-out clause, according to reports.
Benteke endured a disappointing first half to last season but rediscovered his goal-scoring touch when Tim Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert and he scored 12 goals in his final 13 games of the campaign.
This form attracted interest from Liverpool with widespread reports last week claiming that Brendan Rodgers has made the 24-year-old one of his prime summer transfer targets.
The Northern Irishman is on the look-out for a new striker after the Reds struggled badly in front of goal last season and it appears he wants Benteke to spearhead his new-look side next year.
However, the Merseysiders will now face some stiff competition for his signature as the Express are reporting today that Chelsea have now entered the race to sign the Belgian international this summer.
Jose Mourinho is also in the market for a new front man to replace Didier Drogba and Benteke has very similar attributes to the Ivory Coast legend, so a move to Stamford Bridge could now be on the cards.
Tim Sherwood said last week that he was desperate to keep hold of Benteke this summer but admitted there is little Villa could do to prevent the striker leaving if a club met his £32.5m buy-out clause.
However, the good news for the FA Cup finalists is that the Express claims that neither Liverpool or Chelsea are prepared to match that figure and are instead only willing to pay around £20m for the powerful hitman.
It remains to be seen how Villa would react if that kind of money was put on the table but it would be interesting to see who Benteke would choose to join if Liverpool and Chelsea were able to agree a fee with the Midlands club.
Obviously Chelsea would be an appealing move as they are the newly-crowned Premier League champions and have Champions League football to offer. But Benteke would have to play second-fiddle to Diego Costa so if it’s regular first team football he’s after, perhaps he’d be more tempted by a move to Anfield?
Rodgers is expected to be cautious with Daniel Sturridge next season as he’s struggled badly with injuries this season, so Benteke would get plenty of action if he was to join Liverpool.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming weeks but it looks as though two of the Premier League biggest clubs are ready to fight it out for Villa’s front-man this summer.