Are Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur ready to slug it out for the services of Aston Villa’s star man Christian Benteke? Reports in the press seem to suggest so, with bwin making the three Premier League big-guns the favourites to sign the Belgian this summer.
Despite Villa manager Paul Lambert’s protestations that Benteke is not for sale, speculation about the future of the forward refuses to go away with reports over the last few days stating that the Midlands’ club resolve to keep their star player will be fully tested over the coming months.
And with Benteke previously hinting that he would be happy to move on this summer, Villa may well have no choice but to sell the man they signed for just £7million last year and who scored 19 league goals in an impressive debut season in England.
Liverpool are the 4/1 favourites to sign Benteke, in from 7/1, with the club reportedly looking at the former Genk man as an option should, as appears likely, they lose Luis Suarez in this transfer window.
North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have also been heavily linked with Benteke, with bwin pricing them both up as 5/1 shots to land the Villa star. Benteke named Arsenal as a possible destination in an interview three weeks ago, while Spurs have been thought to have made a cash plus player offer, with Jermaine Defoe being used as bait in the deal.
Atletico Madrid, who have lost their own star forward Falcao to big-spending Monaco, are also quoted at 5/1.
Borussia Dortmund, another side tipped to lose their best goalscorer with Robert Lewandowski tipped to move to rivals Bayern Munich, are 9/1, while Manchester City are 20/1 to prise Benteke away from Villa Park.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea are 25/1, Monaco 28/1 and Manchester United 33/1 to sign Benteke, while Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are 40/1. Russian side Anzhi are 50/1.
If you believe that Lambert can keep his best player, Benteke is 8/13 to still be an Aston Villa player on 1st September but, with bigger clubs circling, that possibility looks increasingly unlikely.