Delph will not stop Benteke

Date published: Thursday 11th June 2015 10:36

Villa chief executive Tom Fox revealed this week the Midlands club plan to offer the Belgian forward an extension to his contract, which expires in 2017.

But with Liverpool among the clubs reported to be pursuing the 24-year-old, who scored 15 goals this season, Delph said it would be pointless to stand in his way if he wanted to leave.

“I wouldn’t try to convince anybody (to stay),” Delph said.

“Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions. If they have a chance to move on and better themselves, I can’t tell them not to do that.

“If they want to commit themselves to the club and stay there, then happy days there as well. But it is down to that individual.”

Delph, who signed a four-and-a-half-year contract in January, added: “It would have a big effect (if Benteke left).

“He is a great player, world-class in my opinion, a good lad to have around as well. It would be a big loss.

“He scores a lot of goals.”

Meanwhile, Fox was reluctant to be drawn on the prospect of Benteke asking to leave Villa Park.

He said: “If Christian wanted to leave, would we stand in his way? It’s very difficult to make a blanket statement about a player wanting to leave.

“There has been a lot of speculation and I’m not going to contribute to it or play any of our transfer strategy out in the press.

“But we will offer Christian Benteke a new deal this summer, of course we will.”

Villa finished 17th place in the Premier League, three points above the relegation zone, and lost 4-0 to Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

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