Christian Benteke will be offered new deal, reveals Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox

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The club are looking to thwart reported interest in their star man from the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool.

Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox has revealed to the Guardian that the club plan to offer Christian Benteke a new contract in order to ward off reported interest in his signature.

Benteke, 24, has scored 46 goals in 96 total appearances for Villa since signing from Genk in August 2012 but his future has been the subject of frequent speculation over the past three seasons.

The Belgian striker even handed in a transfer request following his impressive debut campaign but withdrew it just a fortnight later after talks with then-manager Paul Lambert and penned a contract extension until 2017.

A ruptured Achilles which forced him to miss the World Cup put paid to the chances of a move last summer, as well as contributed to the slow first half to this term, but the imposing front man has since returned to form in speculator fashion following Tim Sherwood’s appointment.

Now on a run of eight goals in eight games, speculation surrounding his future has begun to resurface in recent weeks, with both Manchester United and Liverpool said to be weighing up summer bids, per the likes of Daily Mail.

Agent Eris Kismet has refuted such rumours, insisting that his client remains focused on Villa’s survival bid for now, but Sherwood has admitted that he will not prevent him from leaving if he does demand a move down the road.

However, the Villa boss has also stressed that he has no intention of selling his star man, with Fox now adding that the club will be looking to tie him down to a new bumper deal at the end of the season.

“Absolutely. He’s young, he’s unplayable on his day, he’s incredibly important,” said Fox. “I talk to his agent on a fairly regular basis.

“We’re not doing anything on it right now – we’re focused on the end of the season and the FA Cup – but Tim is 100% right: you don’t allow your players that are big assets at the club to be in a position where the club is disadvantaged, so you want to have them signed long term. I’m sure we’ll be having conversations with Christian and his people in the summer.”

As to whether it is realistic to expect Villa can keep hold of one of the top-flight’s most prized assets when the club have been battling the drop for the past five campaigns, Fox responded: “Look, I think the problem is people lately think of Villa as a club fighting relegation and being 15th or 16th.

“I look at Villa and see a club that should be seventh, eighth or ninth in the Premier League on a perennial basis, and that’s what we’re all trying to do, put the club in a place where that’s possible.

“I think if we put ourselves in that position we can keep any player. I think we have to [make a real play] to keep Christian in the summer.”

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