Christian Benteke's agent tackles reported interest in the Aston Villa striker

Benteke 2

The Belgium international has been linked to the likes Manchester United and Liverpool but agent Eris Kismet insists his client remains 100 per cent focused on Villa.

Christian Benteke’s future as been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks but his agent has now told Sky Sports that there is no existing interest in the Aston Villa striker’s signature.

Benteke, 24, struggled for form over the first half of the season after returning from six months out with a ruptured Achilles, netting just three times in 18 total appearances, as former manager Paul Lambert even opted to bench him amid his scoring struggles.

The Belgian has found his feet again in stunning fashion since Tim Sherwood’s appointment, however, bagging eight goals in the past eight games to help put the club on course for Premier League survival and set up an FA Cup final against Arsenal.

To no surprise, though, his recent performances have also seen rumours about his future resurface, and both Manchester United [Daily Star] and Liverpool [Telegraph] are now reported to be weighing up summer bids.

AC Milan and Wolfsburg are also said to be among the interested parties, per the Mirror, but agent Eris Kismet has refuted such rumours, insisting that his client is focused on keeping Villa up and not on his future.

“At the moment there is no interest,” he said. “Every player and staff member is concentrated on avoiding relegation, anything else is just a distraction.

“I know everyone wants the same thing because I watch the games and I think Aston Villa are playing the best football in England right now.”

Benteke has also addressed his own future in recent weeks, declaring that he could see himself having a long-term future at Villa Park, while Sherwood has stressed that his star man has given no indication that he intends to leave.

However, the Villa boss warned ahead of the recent 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool that he would not prevent him from leaving if he did demand a move, telling AVTV: “We don’t want to sell our best players but I also want players who want to stay at the football club.

“He’s made no indication to me that he wants to go elsewhere but if he does then we’ll have to assess the situation.

“But for sure, we want to keep him at the club. He’s one of our biggest assets and certainly affects the game on a football pitch at the moment.

“You can’t force any player [to stay]. I’ve been there myself – once they want go somewhere, you might as well take the money, otherwise you’ll be without both.”

Benteke has netted 46 goals in 96 total appearances for Villa since signing from Genk in August 2012 but handed in a transfer request following his impressive debut season, amid the BBC reporting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

He withdrew it just two weeks later, however, in order to pen a contract extension until 2017, but it looks like the claret and blues are in for another testing summer in their bid to hold onto him.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch