Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood sounds warning to Christian Benteke suitors

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The Villa manager has no plans to sell his star striker and, even if he demands a move, stresses that few clubs would be able to afford him.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has said at his pre-match press conference that he won’t prevent Christian Benteke from leaving the club if the striker does demand a move, but warns that his signature would demand a sizeable fee.

Benteke, 24, endured a poor first half to the season after returning in October from six months out with a ruptured Achilles, netting just three times in 18 appearances and even getting benched for Paul Lambert’s final two games in charge.

The Belgium international has been revitalised 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 encounter with Arsenal.

His recent form has seen speculation about his future resurface, though, with both Manchester United and Liverpool now said to be weighing up summer bids, per the likes of the Daily Mail.

Agent Eris Kismet has since refuted such rumours, however, and insisted that his client’s focus remains on Villa’s relegation battle and not his future, much to the delight of Sherwood.

The Villa boss accepts that his hand could be forced down the road if Benteke does demand a move and a huge offer comes in but, for now, he has no intention of selling his star man.

“I haven’t heard anything about that [interest], but it’s good news that people are talking about Christian again because he’s scoring goals and if he’s scoring goals for us, we’re happy,” Sherwood said.

“I’ve no idea what he’d cost, because I don’t want to sell him. It would have to be a lot of money for anyone to take him from us.

“He’d be too expensive for a great deal of clubs in the Premier League. But we’re not looking to sell our assets and he’s certainly one of those.

“If a player doesn’t want to play for the club anymore and the club he wants to go to meet the valuation then I think it’s always best to let them go.

“It would be about the market value of what’s out there but I have no intention of selling Christian.

“He’s enjoying his football and I saw some positive things said by his agent, saying he had not talked to other clubs or seen any interest from other clubs and that Aston Villa were playing the best football out of any team in the league. I think he was spot on there.”

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