Tim Fox confirms new contract offer for Villa's Christian Benteke

Aston Villa hope they can keep their star striker from the clutches of Liverpool.

Aston Villa are preparing a new contract offer for Christian Benteke before the start of the new season, according to quotes on Sky Sports from club chief executive Tim Fox.

The American paid tribute to Benteke's status as a Premier League and world star, and with plenty of clubs said to be circling the 25-year-old, who has a £32.5 million release clause in his current deal with Villa, Fox hopes a new offer will help deter the likes of Liverpool, reported by Sky Sports to be one of his biggest suitors, and anchor the forward down longer than his existing two-year deal.

"We are obviously going to offer him a new contract in the summer," the Villa executive told Sky Sports. "He's a fantastic player and one of the top strikers in the Premier League and I think he is someone who is recognised around the world as one of the top strikers."

"I know he's got two years left on his deal as a starting point, so I am fairly certain we can have him back next year if we want."

The former Genk man scored 15 times in 35 games this season, helping Villa secure Premier League football while also making the FA Cup final.

Fox stated that the relationship between Villa boss Tim Sherwood and the Belgian is very strong, something that most supporters will be hoping can be put to use in order to convince Benteke to stay at the club.

"He has got a good relationship with everyone at the club," Fox added. "I know him and Tim have a great working relationship, so our hope is we can keep him."

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch