Transfer news

Benteke to be offered new Villa contract

May 1, 2013
By Ian Edwards

Aston Villa are planning to open negotiations with Christian Benteke over a new contract as soon as their Premier League safety is secured with the striker 99% certain to be at Villa Park next season.

Christian Benteke
PA PhotosChristian Benteke is a Belgium international

Villa owner Randy Lerner is keen to reward Benteke for the huge impact he has made in his first season with the club, following his £7 million summer move from Genk.

Benteke's 22 goals in 37 appearances have alerted a host of English and top European clubs, including Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham and Arsenal.

Villa are determined to keep hold of one of the buys of the season and offer the 22-year-old a significant increase on the estimated £25,000-a-week deal he signed last summer.

Lerner has been accused of selling off his biggest assets in recent seasons, following the departures of Ashley Young, James Milner and Gareth Barry, but the American is determined to back manager Paul Lambert and it has been suggested that even bids of £30 million would be rejected.

Benteke's agent Eric Kismet confirmed the interest of other clubs earlier in the season and that will have only increased following Benteke's 17-minute hat-trick in Monday night's 6-1 demolition of Sunderland at Villa Park.

But Kismet has given Lerner and Lambert encouragement regarding Benteke's future by claiming the striker is more than happy to stay at the club and is not agitating for a move.

"I keep hearing that Christian dreams of playing for different clubs, but why dream when he is living a fantastic reality with Aston Villa," Kismet said. "He is certainly not thinking about leaving. It is always impossible to predict the future in football. All things can happen, but at the moment I am 99% certain Christian will start next season with Aston Villa in the Premier League.

"Paul Lambert, the club and the fans have been very foot to Christian and that means a lot to him."