Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert will offer Belgian striker Christian Benteke a new contract at the end of the season, according to the Metro. The 22-year-old international has had a fine season at Villa Park, despite the club fighting relegation, and has scored 13 goals in 27 Premier League games.
Benteke's form has attracted interest from Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City and Lambert's plans to offer his star a new deal stem from a desire to secure his long-term future to the club.
"I might give him a fiver more. Being Scottish, that is generous! I think you do that (reward players) with most lads who are performing well for you. You just don't want people to become comfortable or lose that hunger. I don't want a monetary thing to over-rule success," Lambert explained.
The problem for Villa fans, however, is their Belgian striker may be forced to look at other clubs for next season if Lambert cannot ensure Premier League survival. The Midlands club are stuck in a relegation fight with Wigan Athletic, Reading and QPR for company and are in 18th, with goal difference separating them from Roberto Martinez's men and comparative safety.
Villa host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon and would probably give a lot for a result similar to the last league match between these sides; that was at Anfield, where the Reds were shocked 1-3.
Meanwhile, Lambert is also confident over the future of Benteke's strike partner, Andreas Weimann. The 21-year-old Austrian international has six goals and two assists from 22 appearances and is reportedly being courted by Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool. Weimann's contract expires in 2014 but Lambert indicated talks over an extension had already been started and were progressing well.
"I spoke to Andy's agent a couple of months back. I know what is happening and Andy knows what is happening. His agent knows what is going on. There is no problem at the minute. Am I confident Andy will sign? Yes," the 43-year-old manager stressed.