Christian Benteke’s agent appears to rule out Chelsea and Liverpool, leaving Tottenham favourites for his signature.
The agent of unsettled Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has emphatically ruled out a summer move to Chelsea, leaving Tottenham Hotspur in pole position for the Belgian’s signature.
Benteke has handed in a transfer request at Villa Park and the Midlands outfit have reluctantly admitted they will sell the forward ‘within an appropriate timeframe’ if they receive a suitable offer.
But Benteke’s agent Eris Kement says there is as much chance of his client joining Chelsea as playing amateur football next season.
“The chance of him going to Chelsea is the same as the probability that he’ll join Turkish Christian Rangers [a semi-professional team from the Belgian third division],” Kement told voetbalnieuws.be.
Kement also appeared to rule out Liverpool, stressing that Benteke wants to play in Europe next term.
“We do not want war, but you can not blame Christian that for wanting to play European football,” he added.
All said, it appears White Hart Lane is the most likely destination for the former Genk striker.
There’s no doubt the north London outfit are in need of a new forward, after dismal seasons for both Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe.
The Togolese managed just five Premier League goals all campaign, while Defoe started strongly but scored just once in the league after Boxing Day.
Benteke has proven capable of playing as a lone striker in the Premier League and, despite being caught offside 50 times last season, would be a good target man to play in front of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and another.
The issue, as ever when Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is involved, will be the fee.
Villa are reportedly demanding £25m for Benteke and there seems little chance Levy will sanction such a hefty fee, even for a young player with a significant sell-on value.
Most likely, the Spurs chairman will attempt to offload some unwanted players – possibly including Defoe (who was only caught offside 22 times last season, by the way) – on the Midlands outfit but the Gareth Barry and Stewart Downing transfers prove that Villa cannot be easily bullied or hoodwinked.
Expect this “saga” to run on…