Aston Villa will attempt to keep striker Christian Benteke from joining Liverpool in the summer transfer window by offering the Belgium international a new contract.

Benteke scored 15 goals last season, being a key figure in both Aston Villa's fight against relegation and them reaching the FA Cup final for the first time in 15 years.

The 24 year old's agent Eris Kismet says Benteke wants to play for a club who have qualified for Europe next season, and the leaking of the £32.5m release clause in his current contract has fuelled speculation over his future.

However, Villa executive Tom Fox said: "We'll offer Christian Benteke a new deal, of course we will.

"To make a blanket statement about a player wanting to [stay] is very difficult," Fox added. "You're trying to create one set of rules and standards that apply to everyone. Every player is an individual and every player has individual aspirations.

"Look at what happened with the re-signing of Fabian Delph. No-one in the industry would have thought that was possible or thought that was something he should have done, and yet he did it. There is no rule that would have applied to that.

"I think it is very much about the individual, the relationship he has with the club and what his personal aspirations are. I think that has a lot to say about it.

"There has been a lot of speculation, but what I am not going to do is contribute to it and I am not going to play out our transfer strategy in the press. I know people do that and it is part of the game that gets played but we are going to keep our counsel on that."

Liverpool are understood to be baulking at Benteke's release clause, but that is unlikely to quell speculation surrounding the forward's future, which is expected to be one of the main storylines of the upcoming summer transfer window.

Kismet had initially given Liverpool hope that their continued pursuit of Benteke would eventually prove fruitful, after being recorded by a Villa supporter claiming the player would not agree a new deal to stay at Villa Park.

The footage, uploaded to Facebook by a Villa fan named as Ty TeeBee Bracey, includes audio of Kismet confirming Benteke wants to play for a club who have qualified for one of Europe's main two club competitions.

Fox has attacked the attempt to dupe Kismet and said the act is "beyond the pale".

"It is difficult for us to sit here and know everything that is happening in anyone's life at any given time. I am not in a position to discuss what is going on in the private life of Kismet with his family," he added.

"But I think it is disgraceful for someone to pose as someone else and film somebody on his phone having a conversation he thinks is private, to someone he thinks is someone else.

"I think you should put quotes around the term fan. I find the whole thing absolutely disagreeable. To impersonate another person like that I think is just beyond the pale."

Tom Fox was speaking at the Sport Industry Breakfast Club.