Five potential Benteke replacements Aston Villa should consider, including Adebayor

Aston Villa are reportedly close to losing striker Christian Benteke.

According to BBC Sport, Liverpool are poised to make a bid of £32.5m for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, in a move which would activate the striker's release clause.

The Belgian international, 24, has smashed 49 goals in 100 games for Villa since joining from Genk back in 2012, establishing himself as one of the deadliest strikers in the Premier League.

Now though, Villa look set to lose their star man, with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers seemingly desperate to bring Benteke to Anfield and solve his striking problems.

With a deal likely to be completed in the coming days, Villa will have to turn their attentions to finding a replacement - and here are five strikers for manager Tim Sherwood to consider.

Charlie Austin, QPR

Austin exceeded expectations last season, hitting 18 goals in 36 games for relegated QPR. Now back in the Championship with just one year left on his contract, Villa should be making Austin one of their top targets to replace Benteke, having proven his ability to score in the Premier League over the last year. The fee should be much lower than the £32.5m Villa will receive for Benteke, making him an astute option for Sherwood.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham

Much maligned and controversial, Adebayor has become an outcast at Tottenham, barely featuring under Mauricio Pochettino last season. However, arguably his best days at Spurs came when Sherwood was their manager, revitalising the Togolese forward just as he did with Benteke last season. A reunion would be the best way for Adebayor to continue his Premier League career, whilst giving Sherwood a striker he knows he can get the best out of.

Troy Deeney, Watford

A former Villa youth player, Deeney has hit 66 goals in the last three seasons for Watford, demonstrating his goalscoring prowess for the Hornets. The 27-year-old helped Watford win promotion to the Premier League last season, so a deal could be difficult, but with money to spend after the Benteke sale, Villa could flash enough cash to tempt Watford into a deal. With great strength and finishing ability, Villa could do worse than bring Deeney back to the club this summer.

Rudy Gestede, Blackburn Rovers

The Benin international hit 22 goals for Rovers last season, and possesses the strength and aerial ability that made Benteke so dangerous for Villa. The 26-year-old would come cheaper than someone like Austin or Deeney, but would be something of a gamble considering his poor previous record with Cardiff City. If Sherwood wants to sign a player with similar physical attributes to Benteke, Gestede could be an option.

Jordan Ayew, Lorient

Athletically different to the other four options in that his game is predicated on his pace rather than strength, Ayew impressed for Lorient last season with 13 goals in 27 games. The Ghanaian forward is just 23, so still has plenty of room to develop, and would again be available for a cheaper fee than Austin or Deeney. Ayew hasn't featured outside of France, but he has great potential - and proved what he can do last season.

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