Liverpool have been handed a major boost in the chase for Aston Villa attacker Christian Benteke, according to reports.
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The Belgian hitman has been on Liverpool’s radar for the past few months, and The Guardian reports the 24-year-old will tell Villa boss Tim Sherwood of his desire to join the Reds when he returns to pre-season training on Wednesday.
Aston Villa are understood to be adamant they will not sell Benteke for any less than his £32.5m buyout clause, however the former Genk man could force the Midlands club into dropping its asking price should be attempt to force his way out of Villa Park.
According to the report, Liverpool are not willing to match Villa’s valuation of Benteke and will move onto other targets should negotiations reach a standstill.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is believed to be keen on bringing in a proven centre-forward this summer following the club’s disastrous Premier League season and Benteke certainly fits the bill.
Just how much Liverpool are willing to pay is the question on everyone’s lips, but Rodgers is in dire need to sign an out-and-out striker following the departure of Luis Suarez last season.
Benteke has also been linked with London giants Chelsea and Arsenal, but it seems Liverpool are in pole position to snare the Belgian international’s signature.