Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has been attracting interest from a number of Premier League clubs. The Daily Star reports that English champions Manchester City, European champions Chelsea and Arsenal are all interested in signing the Belgian international. Benteke is valued at £16m.
The 22-year-old has been in impressive form for the struggling Premier League outfit, scoring 10 goals and registering four assists in 22 league appearances this season. However, Benteke's form has not helped Villa climb out of the relegation zone. Paul Lambert's side are 19th in the league table with 21 points from 25 games.
The Daily Star suggests Benteke has informed his friends he will leave Villa Park in the summer, even if the Villans avoid relegation. With Arsenal, Chelsea and City all in need of a forward, Benteke could have his pick of top-level clubs to choose from. The youngster may not be a high-profile signing but has certainly done enough in his first season in England to suggest he could become a very useful signing.
Lambert, however, has rubbished the report and claimed the striker does not intend on leaving the club this summer. He explained: "If that's the whispers coming back then it's funny that because he doesn't speak. I've not heard it. He's a cracking big guy and really humble. If he keeps that, he could be anything he wants to be."
The former Norwich City manager was adamant the club would not be willing to sell their top asset without a fight. Benteke completed a move to Villa Park last summer, arriving from Belgian club Genk for £7m. Lambert believes the asking price for the player has now more than doubled.
"When the guy came into Villa, people were saying to me, 'Who is he and why are you going for someone from Genk?' With what he's done, he's a cult hero already. He's only 22 and he's got years and years ahead of him. He's not at his peak, but what he's done for me and for the club is fantastic. If someone wanted to buy Christian, they'd better have a few quid in their pocket," the Villa manager added.