If Aston Villa stay up then various reports are suggesting the club will double Christian Benteke’s wages to try and keep him at Villa Park.
It’s a good deal and one that he will more than likely sign but there are suggestions his agent will insist on a release clause in the contract, similar to what Demba Ba had in his deal at Newcastle United.
Aston Villa must make every effort to try and avoid that clause because it could make Benteke’s signing of a new contract almost pointless by the time the winter transfer window comes around.
As Zinedine Zidane this week stated with regard to Gareth Bale, if a top team want an outstanding player - then no price is going to put them off, especially if a clause is written into their contract.
Such a clause allowed Bayern Munich to swoop in for Mario Gotze at 37 million Euros, and Benteke's potential and sensational debut season means he very much is the type of player teams will consider as an 'outstanding' signing.
He’s had a superb season with 18 Premier League goals including a hat-trick in Aston Villa’s thrashing of Sunderland in their last league fixture.
His strike rate, which is just greater than one goal per game, has attracted the interest of some very big Premier League clubs, most notably Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal who seem ready to table bids for him.
If he signed a new deal with a release clause then it would effectively means any club that wanted to sign him, could trigger that clause in the January window leaving Aston Villa powerless to prevent him moving on.
That would make a brand new contract this summer pointless for him, because Villa may as well sell him in the summer while his stock is high instead of temporarily rewarding him with more money.
Villa have a big risk to take because if they don’t give in to these demands, then they risk alienating Benteke who is a very popular player within the dressing room and within the fans.
That could reduce the chance that he’ll sign a new contract beyond his current deal and make him more likely to want to go and get higher wages elsewhere.
The way Villa can get round this is if they negotiate a release clause with a fee, which is higher than Benteke justifies right now - something in the region of £35 million.
That would eradicate the chance of any other side coming in and paying over the odds for him, which could turn out to be a fair price in a year’s time if he maintains the consistency he has shown this season.
It also gives him exactly what he wants; more money and a way out of the club if a bigger side wants to come in and trigger that release clause.
If Villa are going to go down that route, they need to ensure they don’t undervalue him via the release clause which happened when Ba left Newcastle for Chelsea in a £7.5 million deal.
Should the club give him what he wants or stand firm?
image: © little-pete