Aston Villa: Benteke asks to leave the club

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke

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Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke has handed in transfer request and club confirmed striker will be allowed to leave if they receive right offer in ‘an appropriate time-frame’.

Benteke has only been at Villa for one season after completing his £7million move from Genk last summer. Last season the Belgian showed exactly what he can do at the highest level and scored 19 goals in the Premier League to help Villa stay in the top flight.

With his goal-scoring exploits grabbing the headlines, Benteke has been linked with a move away from Villa Park all summer but his latest decision to ask to leave could alert clubs across Europe. Top clubs across the continent have shown an interest – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs have all been linked in England and Atletico Madrid have also kept an eye on the Belgian international.

Villa confirmed that Benteke asked to leave the club but Paul Lambert remains hopeful that the powerful forward will remain with the club ahead of next season.

He said: “While we’re hugely disappointed that Christian has put in a transfer request, it’s important that people appreciate we are trying to build something strong and vibrant here at the club, something this club demands and stands for, and we want Christian to be part of that.”

“He’s more than happy to stay if he has to stay. But we all know he had a good season and it’s normal that maybe other teams are more interested in him, and he might be interested to play European football which is his right.

“But at the same time Villa have the right to say whatever is going to happen with Christian next year, and Christian will have his word also because it’s his career.”

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