Sherwood: Situation surrounding Christian Benteke similar to Gareth Bale in 2013

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood wants to keep Christian Benteke at the club.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told the Daily Mail that selling Christian Benteke would be similar to Liverpool and Tottenham trying to replace Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale.

Benteke, 24, ended the campaign in remarkable form, hitting 11 goals in nine games to keep Villa in the Premier League towards the end of last season.

Sherwood really got the best out of Benteke, who had previously struggled for form under previous boss Paul Lambert - but his impressive displays are attracting interest.

The Mirror report that Liverpool are keen to sign the Belgian international having sold Raheem Sterling to Manchester City, whilst Manchester United are also interested in the striker, according to The Sun.

The prospect of losing their star player will no doubt strike fear into Villa fans, and manager Sherwood has underlined his intentions by comparing the situation to two recent transfers.

Tottenham sold winger Bale to Real Madrid in 2013, whilst Liverpool allowed striker Luis Suarez to join Barcelona a year ago - and both clubs took the huge transfer fees to strengthen other areas of their squad - moves which haven't worked for either club.

Sherwood has told the Daily Mail that he would rather keep Benteke than splash out on a raft of new signings like Tottenham and Liverpool, even noting that prices could increase for Villa targets if opposing teams know they have funds available.

"A lot of teams have sold their one player, Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, and then tried to get the same results by bringing in six or seven. It doesn’t happen, does it?" said Sherwood. "You can take your £32.5m [release clause] but try and spend it! It’s a tough market out there. Other chairmen would be happy wouldn’t they? If Christian was to go the prices go up, clubs would hold us to ransom," he added.

What does the future hold for Benteke?

Benteke is clearly attracting interest from a number of clubs, but Villa will be desperate to keep their star man at the club with less than a month to go until the start of the Premier League season.

The striker has a £32.5m release clause in his contract, and it appears that Villa won't accept any bids under that figure - which is certainly the right decision at the moment.

The situation may change if Benteke publicly asks for a transfer, but right now Villa should stay stubborn; and despite Sherwood's comments, the extra funds would help him in the transfer market this summer.

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