Tim Sherwood wants Aston Villa to throw aside their wage structure to keep Christian Benteke from joining one of the Premier League’s elite this summer.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been credited with an interest in the Belgian striker, who scored 12 goals in 15 games under Sherwood to help Villa avoid relegation.
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According to the Daily Mail, the Anfield club are preparing an offer for Benteke as Brendan Rodgers seeks to shake up a strike force which managed just eight league goals between them this season.
Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert are all expected to leave the Reds and makeshift frontman Raheem Sterling is embroiled in a contract stare down.
Rodgers is targeting Benteke to spearhead his new forward line and is hoping to sign him for less than the £32.5m release clause understood to be in his Villa Park contract, which runs until 2017.
Sherwood will apparently go to the Villa board and beg them to give the 24-year-old a bumper new deal worth £75,000 per week, a 50% increase on his current salary which would see him leave Fabian Delph and Gabriel Agbonlahor behind as the club’s top earner.
Benteke, who has scored 45 goals in 101 games since joining the Villans from Racing Genk in 2012, was anonymous yesterday as Arsenal ran out emphatic 4-0 winners in the FA Cup final.