Christian Benteke submits transfer request at Aston Villa | inside World Soccer

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has alerted the interest of Premier League's elite by handing in a transfer request just one season after arriving from Belgian club Genk.

Christian Benteke scored 19 goals in 34 Premier League games in his first season at Aston Villa
Christian Benteke scored 19 goals in 34 Premier League games in his first season at Aston Villa

Photo: Getty Images

Benteke was a key figure in helping Villa to retain their top-flight status and he has subsequently been linked with a summer move, with several clubs reported to be interested in his services.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur are among the clubs who are reported to have shown an interest in the Belgium international.

And rumors are likely to be heightened on Monday as Villa flew to Germany for a pre-season camp and Benteke was not part of the touring party.

Villa have now confirmed that Benteke has asked to leave the club, although the club are adamant that they will not be bullied into selling the 22-year-old.

A club statement read: "In response to reports that Christian Benteke has not travelled to Germany with the club and has made a transfer request, we can confirm that both are accurate.

"For clarity's sake, however, he had already been given extra time off until July 18 and was reminded that there are three years remaining on his contract.

"We consider him to be a Villa player and expect that he will be with us for the 2013-14 season.

"Having received his transfer request, we have also informed him that should we receive an offer within an appropriate timeframe during pre-season which meets our valuation we would act upon it. But he will remain a Villa player should this not happen."

The Midlands club reportedly value Benteke at £25 million, a significant step up from the £8 million they paid to secure him from Genk, but a fairly reasonable price for a player who scored or created 49 percent of Villa's goals in the Premier League last season.

Villa manager Paul Lambert added: "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."


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