Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes Christian Benteke would benefit from another strong season with Aston Villa and should not seek a transfer this summer.

The Belgian striker struggled for form and consistency during the early stages of last season under former manager Paul Lambert, yet his performances improved drastically following the arrival of Tim Sherwood in February.

Having only scored three Premier League goals in 2014/15 prior to Sherwood's appointment, Benteke ended the campaign on a quite superb run of 12 in just 13 games as Villa successfully avoided relegation to the Championship by a three-point margin and also progressed to the FA Cup final.

Such an impressive renaissance has led to a deluge of speculation regarding his future since that comprehensive 4-0 defeat at Wembley.

Liverpool, who announced the signing of Hoffenheim playmaker Roberto Firmino earlier on 24 June, are believed to retain an interest in his signature, but recent reports from The Telegraph suggest they may now be turning their attention towards the likes of Sevilla forward Carlos Bacca and Juventus' Fernando Llorente due to an apparent unwillingness to meet Benteke's £32.5m ($51.2m) release clause.

Sky Sports believe that Jose Salomon Rondon of Zenit Saint Petersburg is also a prominent target as Brendan Rodgers attempts to further revamp his squad following the early arrivals of Danny Ings, James Milner and Adam Bogdan.

Tottenham midfielder Nacer Chadli told Sky earlier this month that he hoped his international colleague would opt for a move to White Hart Lane during the upcoming transfer window, while Eden Hazard has also told reporters that he would be the "happiest man in the world" if Chelsea could engineer a deal for his services.

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, suggests Serie A outfit Roma have previously considered Benteke, but Murphy claims a lack of consistency could render him too much of a risk at the aforementioned price and has backed the player to remain at Villa Park for now.

"He wouldn't get into Manchester City, Chelsea or even Arsenal's side at the moment, so it would be more like a Liverpool or a Tottenham," he told Talksport.

"The problem is they're never going to pay £32.5m to get him because last season he didn't play well enough for long enough and that was partly down to injuries. I would suggest to him stay another year, play 35 games, get 20 goals, and then you might get a move to one of the big boys.

"He's a risky signing for a club to spend £32.5m on now. Inevitably when you have a really difficult injury it's very hard to come back and play at your best. I think because he's got age on his side, staying at Villa and having a sensational season might benefit him better in the long term."

Benteke's current contract is due to expire in June 2017 and Villa chief executive Tom Fox has confirmed that he will be offered an extension.