Fiorentina eyeing up January move for Aston Villa's Christian Benteke

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke is a reported January target for Fiorentina, according to the press in Italy.

Serie A outfit Fiorentina are considering a winter move for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

Fiorentina have front men Giuseppe Rossi and Filippo Bernardeschi out with long-term injuries at present, while Mario Gomez is still to prove to his fitness after returning to action.

With promising Senegalese youngster Khouma Babacar currently their main man up top, the club are exploring a number of options for the coming transfer window, including Benteke, Liverpool’s Fabio Borini, Giovani Dos Santos, Italian pair Marco Boriello and Giampaolo Pazzini, and former Viola forward Adrian Mutu.

Signing from Genk in August 2012 for around £7 million, speculation surrounding Benteke’s future at Villa is nothing new considering the Belgian international’s successful strike-rate of 34 goals in 68 totals games for the club.

The 23-year-old even submitted a transfer request at Villa Park in July 2013 following reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur after his stellar debut campaign, but withdrew his demands just a fortnight later.

Nevertheless, going into the 2013-14 term, there was a growing sense that another solid season would put him back in the shop window for other big-spending Premier League sides to pounce.

It was somewhat of a morose blessing in disguise for Villa then that, after netting 10 times in 26 games, the 18-times capped hitman would rupture his Achilles tendon in April, ruling him out for the rest of the season and the World Cup in Brazil, with the club still just managing to achieve Premier League survival.

Putting paid to a potential summer move, Benteke returned to the pitch last month, but has looked off the pace in his four outings so far, and earned a three-match ban in last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham for a controversial red card.

Nevertheless, that has seemingly don’t little to prevent more clubs eyeing him up, and it remains to be seen whether Paul Lambert’s struggling side will be able to hold off interest for another transfer window, even with their desperate need for goals to keep out of a fourth-consecutive relegation battle.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch