Aston Villa transfer round-up: Liverpool prepare Benteke bid, Holgate targeted

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

A selection of stories in the media involving Aston Villa in the last 24 hours…

Liverpool are set to step up their interest in Christian Benteke by launching an official bid, according to ESPN.

The Reds have been linked to the Belgian all summer and Raheem Sterling’s impending Manchester City move looks set to trigger a bid.

ESPN reports that Liverpool hope to negotiate a price below the £32.5 million buy-out clause but Villa continue to dig their heels in.

The Daily Mail claims that Villa will launch a £1 million bid for Barsnley starlet Mason Holgate.

The 18-year-old was a regular fixture at the club last season but rejected terms on a new deal yesterday and looks set to depart this summer.

Meanwhile, Malaga’s Sergi Darder could be close to a move to the West Midlands as per CalcioNews24, with Villa seemingly beating off competition from Inter and Roma for the 21-year old.

The central midfielder has established himself as one of the most promising young players in La Liga and CalcioNews24 reports a £7.1 million deal is close to being agreed.

Reported Villa and Southampton target Ondrej Duda has dealt a blow to his pursuers by committing his future to current club Legia Warsaw.

In quotes published by Legia.Sport, Duda said: “I will stay with the Legion [Legia Warsaw], because I feel well here and it does not make sense to move anywhere. I have not signed a contract with any other club, so now I focus on work.”

Finally, Micah Richards took to his official Twitter account to deny claims that he warned Fabian Delph against a move to Manchester City, stating: "If people actually think I had a influence on Delph not going to city your wrong! And I have nothing but great things to say about city!"

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch