Manchester United have reportedly joined the race for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, and the two could just be a match made in heaven.
But Old Trafford bosses have baulked at the huge £50m-plus valuations of Bayern’s Thomas Muller, Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, The Sun adds.
Meanwhile, Benteke, who scored 13 Premier League goals for Villa last season, has a release clause of £32.5m, according to Sky Sports, and so is more affordable as well as more attainable.
The Daily Star has heavily tipped the 24-year-old to join United’s North-West rivals Liverpool, but Benteke would be much more suited to the playing style on Manchester than on Merseyside.
He is known for being a powerhouse in the air, as evidenced by this goal against Tottenham Hotspur, who are also touted as admirers of Benteke by The Mirror, in Villa’s 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane in April.
In total, 13 of the Belgian’s 42 Premier League goals have been headers. No player can match that figure over the past three seasons.
And this strength is much more likely to be utilised by United, who put in 24 crosses and hit 80 long balls on average per game in the 2014-15 campaign compared to Liverpool’s 17 and 57.
His presence would only encourage the likes of Angel Di Maria, Ashley Young and Juan Mata – all expert deliverers from the flanks or dead-ball situations – to whip more and more balls into the box.
But Benteke is far from a lumpy target man. The 24-times capped international is more than capable of producing some magic on the floor, as United learned first hand at Villa Park last season.
He may not come with the marquee status of other United-linked forwards this summer, but he could be the best option to lead the line at Old Trafford next season.