Former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp has suggested in The Daily Mail that Aston Villa will find it tough to keep hold of Christian Benteke in the summer.
Benteke has been in superb form for Villa since Tim Sherwood became the club’s manager in February.
The Belgium international striker has started to bang in the goals and is looking like the player he was when he initially joined the Villans in 2012.
Redknapp has been impressed with Benteke’s performances of late and believes that Villa could have to part company with him in the summer transfer window.
“Last summer only injury stopped the vultures circling around Christian Benteke,” the 41-year-old wrote in The Daily Mail. “A lot of clubs were interested but that awful achilles injury put them off. This time Aston Villa will have a fight on their hands to keep him…
“But there may be a temptation to cash in — £20m or £25m could go a long way to building a squad. And if Mario Balotelli cost £16m then that’s the least Benteke is worth.”
Former Tottenham forward Garth Crooks has a similar opinion about Benteke’s future and wrote on BBC Sport: “The difficulty with the striker's outstanding performance against Everton is this: If he continues in this rich vein of league form and Villa then beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final, will the Belgium international stay?
“There are tougher problems for Sherwood to consider but it is one I think the Villa manager may have to face very soon. Oh, the price of fame. “
Many Villa fans will share Redknapp and Crooks’ concerns cover Benteke, who is one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
While the Villans will want to keep hold of the Belgian, they will find it tough if top clubs in England come with big offers.
Moreover, one suspects that the former Genk star will have ambition of his own to challenge for top honours. Staying at Villa is not going to help him do that.