Liverpool continue talks over Benteke

Date published: Saturday 18th July 2015 8:29

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Liverpool have already met the £32.5m release fee clause in Benteke’s contract at Villa Park but there is no agreement yet over the finer details of the Belgium international’s transfer.

It is now unlikely the deal will be completed in time for the 24-year-old to take part in Liverpool’s pre-season tour.

The Liverpool squad beat the Thai All-Stars side in Bangkok and are now in Australia where they won 2-1 against Brisbane Roar. They are due to play Adelaide United on Monday and a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Benteke, who has two years remaining on his Villa contract, has scored 49 goals in 101 appearances for the club since he joined from Genk in 2012.

Earlier this week, Villa boss Tim Sherwood said he wanted to keep Benteke but admitted the club were powerless if a bid of £32.5m was received.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers made Benteke his primary summer target to strengthen his forward line but, after initially refusing to meet the buy-out clause, the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City in a £49m deal prompted a shift in thinking.

England international Daniel Sturridge made just 18 appearances last season after missing virtually the first five months of the campaign with injury, and is likely to be sidelined until at least September after undergoing surgery on a hip problem

Rodgers desperately needs a striker who can stand up to the rigours of the Premier League.

He has Benteke’s fellow international Divock Origi, playing his first season in English football after spending last term on loan at Lille, and summer signing from Burnley Danny Ings at his disposal – having decided Mario Balotelli, Rickie
Lambert and Fabio Borini are all surplus to requirements – but needs some proven firepower.

The club have invested heavily in Hoffenheim’s Brazil international Roberto Firmino, who could cost them up to £29m, but he is not an out-and-out forward and so Rodgers needed to recruit someone else to play as his spearhead.

Liverpool have already bought six new players, including England right-back Nathaniel Clyne at a cost of £12.5m, and Benteke’s arrival would push their summer spending to around £80m.

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