Sources: Villa's Benteke has £30 million release clause in his contract

Aston Villa face strong interest in their in-form striker in the summer as Liverpool and Tottenham reportedly monitor him.

Christian Benteke has a £30 million release clause in his Aston Villa contract, HITC understands from club sources.

The Belgium striker will spark a summer transfer scramble after plundering nine goals in his last seven matches to lead Villa to the FA Cup final and put them on course to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Villa manager Tim Sherwood has already spoken of offering Benteke a new contract although he admitted last Friday in the Daily Mail that the 24-year-old could be sold in the summer if an agreement is not reached.

HITC understands that Liverpool and Tottenham are among the clubs closely monitoring Benteke’s situation, which is believed to include a £30 million release clause inserted into the contract he signed nearly two years ago.

The Belgian has two years left on his current deal and Villa will hope that their upwards trajectory can convince him to stay at the club.

Benteke was outstanding for Villa in Sunday’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool, scoring the equaliser and giving Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren a torrid afternoon. He has scored 12 goals for the Midlands club this season, 10 of which have come in 24 Premier League matches.

Speaking of Benteke last Friday, Sherwood said: “We don’t want to sell our best players. I also want players who want to play at the football club.

“He’s made no indication to me that he wants to play elsewhere. If he does then we will assess the situation but we want to keep him at the club.

“You can’t force any player, I’ve been one myself. You might as well take the money because you end up without the money or the player if you don’t take it.”

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