Christian Benteke is apparently stalling on his transfer to Liverpool in the hope that Manchester United hijack the deal.
The Merseysiders triggered the £32.5m release clause in the Aston Villa striker’s contract this week and reportedly had a medical planned for him in the next 48 hours.
The Belgian international has scored 49 goals in 101 games since joining Villa for £7m from Racing Genk in 2012. He is thought to be Brendan Rodgers’s priority signing for the rest of the summer.
But the Daily Star claims that Benteke would prefer a switch to Old Trafford or another top-four club who are guaranteed Champions League football.
Louis van Gaal holds a strong interest in the 24-year-old, who would be more affordable and attainable than other targets such as Edinson Cavani or Gareth Bale.
Should United not enter the race, Benteke is expected to go ahead with his move to Anfield, with Villa resigned to losing him and already chasing Tottenham Hotspur’s Emmanuel Adebayor as a replacement.