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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Christian Benteke: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Spurs - who will sign the Belgian?

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After one fantastic season in a struggling Aston Villa side striker Christian Benteke has become one of the Premier League's hottest properties. The likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs were all casting admiring glances at the bustling Belgian last season, but his decision to hand in a written transfer request has alerted clubs across Europe.

But where will the Villain be playing once the summer transfer window has slammed shut?

Despite stating last season that he was an Arsenal supporter it looks as though Tottenham Hotspur could be his next destination, with Andre Villas-Boas reportedly currently leading the race for his signature. It's no secret that Spurs need extra fire-power to take the weight off Gareth Bale's shoulders and Benteke is high on their wishlist. It has been claimed that Spurs may be willing to use cash plus players to secure the deal but Villa are in pole position in this situation, with Benteke still having three years to run on his current deal. Villa have also stated that they are only willing to do a cash only deal.

BentekeSpurs are 8/11 to have Benteke in their side, but Aston Villa themselves are 4/1. They hold all the cards and if no-one matches their valuation then they are not going to sell him. That could be a smart bet. However, money talks and clubs like Spurs and Arsenal are desperate to add to their squads.

The Gunners may be linked with Suarez, Rooney and Higuain but Benteke is definitely the right age for Wenger to work with, but would the Frenchman really part with £25 million for Benteke? I mean, Wenger wouldn't pay any more than £20 million for Lionel Messi! Is Benteke really that good? Could he have been a one-hit wonder? Possibly, but to score 19 goals in a team battling at the foot of the table is no mean feat. If he can do that at Villa then imagine what he could do with the supply from Cazorla, Wilshere and Arteta.

Liverpool could well be in the market for a striker if Suarez does move on, and Brendan Rodgers felt the full force of Benteke's power last season as the Villains left Anfield with a 3-1 win under their belt. He may not be in the same mould as Suarez, but he could be equally as effective.

Chelsea are also linked with the youngster. A partnership of the Belgians Benteke and Lukaku would have defenders up and down the country hitting the gym desperate to prepare themselves for the physical battle. But would Chelsea fans be pleased to see Benteke arrive? It could be good news for Villa though to deal with Chelsea as they could benefit by striking a deal to bring the unwanted Demba Ba to Villa Park.

Of course, Villa may not want to have Benteke come back to haunt them. The likes of Fiorentina, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund have been monitoring the situation and could well take him off Villa's hands.

The future of the big man looks likely to dominate the landscape over the coming weeks, but who is your money on?

Here are the current odds on where Benteke will be playing after the transfer window has shut:

Spurs 8/11

Aston Villa 4/1

Chelsea 6/1

Arsenal 7/1

Liverpool 14/1

Firoentina 25/1

AC Milan 33/1

Bor Dortmund 33/1

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