Chelsea Boost As £30m+ Striker Hints At Liverpool Snub
Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Christian Benteke after he hinted he’d reject a move to Liverpool as they’re not in the Champions League
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, Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke speaks out on his future….
Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Christian Benteke after the Aston Villa striker suggested he’d reject a potential move to Liverpool due to their lack of Champions League football, according to reports.
Benteke endured a frustrating first half to last season but rediscovered his goal-scoring touch after Tim Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert and he scored 12 goals in his final 13 games of the campaign.
That form attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool with the Premier League giants both reportedly showing a keen interest in signing the 24-year-old this summer.
However, while Benteke has confirmed his intention is to leave Aston Villa this summer, the striker has effectively ruled out making a move to Anfield as he wants to play for a club in the Champions League.
The Belgian international told reporters:
“My agent knows my ambition. I want to play in the Champions League. That’s a dream and my ambition.
“It’s about [my agent]. He knows what I want and I’ll let him do the job. I don’t think about Aston Villa now.
“I did my season with Villa and now I am focused with the national team.”
This news will come as a big blow to Brendan Rodgers as the Reds boss has made Benteke a top target as he looks to bring in more fire-power after a hugely disappointing campaign that saw Liverpool score just 52 league goals all season, compared to 101 the previous year.
But it seems their sixth-placed finish and lack of Champions League football is going to cost them and it further strengthens Chelsea’s position should the Blues decide to make their interest in the striker formal.
Jose Mourinho is also on the look-out for another powerful front-man to replace Dider Drogba and Benteke certainly has similar attributes to the Ivory Coast legend.
However, the striker is aware he needs to be playing regularly if he wants to start for his country, and with Diego Costa and Loic Remy already on books at Stamford Bridge, perhaps he may have second thoughts about any potential move to West London.
“It is important to play.
“If you want to be in your [country’s] first 11, you have to play in your club.”
The Belgian’s agent, Eric Kismet, is due to meet with Villa chief executive Tom Fox to discuss the players future next week but manager Tim Sherwood has already expressed his concern that a big club will meet the strikers buy-out clause this summer.
“There’s a buy-out clause in his contract so it will be impossible for us to stop him if he wants to go.
“But someone’s got to meet that buy-out clause and if they don’t it won’t be considered, because we don’t want to lose him.”
The clause is reportedly set at £32.5m and Sherwood seems intent that Benteke wont be leaving for a penny less, so the likes of Chelsea or Liverpool will have to dig deep if they want to stand a chance of signing the striker.
But as it stands, it appears Liverpool may have to look elsewhere in their hunt for a striker while Chelsea may have some persuading to do to in order to persuade Benteke that he’ll play regularly at Stamford Bridge if he was to make the move.
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