With Christian Benteke seemingly bound for Tottenham Hotspur/Arsenal/Chelsea (delete as appropriate), Aston Villa could soon have a hefty sum of money in their pocket to buy a replacement striker and reports this morning suggest they have entered the race with West Ham United and Anzhi Makhachkala for Demba Ba.
Benteke stunned Villa earlier this week when he handed in an official transfer request just one year after joining the club from Genk, with manager Paul Lambert expressing his “huge disappointment” at the striker’s attitude.
But with Villa guaranteed to make a healthy profit on the £7 million they paid for the Belgian international after Benteke struck 19 league goals to help the Villans to Premier League survival, they will have cash to find a new hero for the Holte End and reports today suggest Lambert has identified Ba as the man he wants.
Ba looks as though he could be surplus to requirements at Chelsea just six months after his £7 million transfer from Newcastle as new manager Jose Mourinho looks to reshape the Blues squad.
And with Mourinho still on the lookout for a top class striker having missed out on Edinson Cavani of Napoli and Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski, Ba may available for transfer and Villa reportedly want to test that theory, with bwin going 4/1 that the Senegal forward signs for the Midlands club this summer.
Ba has been heavily linked with a return to his old club West Ham, where he scored seven goals in 12 games despite the club being relegated in 2011, and it is 3/1 he returns to Upton Park.
But Russian champions Anzhi remain the 7/4 favourites with bwin to sign Ba amid reports of a mega-money contract offer from Guus Hiddink’s side.
Ba is 13/20 to still be at Chelsea until January at the earliest and upwards of 12/1 to sign for any other side.