Liverpool are set to increase on their £22m ($35m) bid for Christian Benteke after Aston Villa reiterated their intentions of keeping the player at the club should the Reds fail to match his £32.5m release clause, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Reds are reportedly willing to take their bid up to £25m to convince Villa to complete a deal, especially with Benteke having refused to sign an extension on his current contract, which expires in 24 months. The striker is currently on holiday, but reports suggest that he will be back next month to convince the management to let him leave, with Liverpool desperate for his signature.
Liverpool are in the market for a striker, having failed in their attempt to bring the best of Mario Balotelli, who has been an utter failure in his first season at Anfield. Daniel Sturridge's injury added salt to injury, with the Reds struggling to find the net without any proven strikers up front.
They have moved quickly in the market this time around, concluding deals for Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino, who should be able to alleviate their problems up front. The Reds have done five deals this summer and are also on the verge of signing Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton to dispel their woes at right-back.
Benteke, meanwhile has led his side to the finals of the FA Cup, beating Liverpool in the process, but were comprehensively beaten by Arsenal, who chalked up their second trophy in consecutive years. However, the striker has been a revelation since coming back from an Achilles injury, scoring 156 goals in all competitions and resurrecting himself as one of the most clinical strikers in the league.
Liverpool are likely to part with Rickie Lambert, who failed to impress and have already seen the departure of Steven Gerrard on a free transfer to the MLS after his contract expired.