Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke has been a summer target for LiverpoolGetty

Liverpool are set to complete the transfer of Christian Benteke after triggering his release clause of £32.5m ($50m) with Aston Villa, according to the Daily Mirror.

The report says Liverpool were unwilling to meet Villa's demands but with Raheem Sterling moving to Manchester City for a £49m ($77m) fee, Brendan Rodgers decided to move quickly in the market and secure his final piece in the puzzle to firm up its challenge for a place in the top four.

Manchester United are also reportedly interested in the player, with the Sun reporting that the club view the player as a direct replacement for Robin van Persie.

The Reds have been extremely active in the market this season, spending almost £50m ($79) on the likes of Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Adam Bogdan and James Milner, after a disastrous campaign last season. Liverpool ended the season in sixth spot, hit by the departure of Luis Suarez and an injury to Daniel Sturridge.

Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert failed to make an impact and were mere passengers for most of the journey.

Rodgers will be hoping that Benteke can add that cutting edge to the squad and score regular goals up front, besides striking a good relationship with Sturridge, after he is back from his injury problems.

Benteke has had a brilliant few seasons at Villa, where he scored 49 goals in 101 appearances in all competitions for the Midlands club. He ruptured his Achilles tendon in April 2014 for which he was out for a period of seven months. But he came back to score 12 goals in 12 appearances under Tim Sherwood, leading Villa out of relegation

The striker played an important role in the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they beat Liverpool to confirm a showdown with Arsenal at Wembley.

However, the Gunners proved too cohesive an opposition for the Villans, beating them 4-0 to retain the FA Cup title.