Report: Aston Villa consider pursuing Islam Slimani as potential Benteke replacement

Aston Villa are reportedly interested in Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani, but face competition from Leicester City and West Ham United.

According to the Daily Mirror, Aston Villa are considering a move to sign Sporting Lisbon hitman Islam Slimani as a replacement for Christian Benteke.

Benteke, 24, left Villa on Wednesday night after three years at the club, with the former Genk striker joining Premier League rivals Liverpool.

With 49 goals in 100 games for Villa, Benteke leaves a huge hole for manager Tim Sherwood to fill ahead of the new Premier League season.

Fortunately, Sherwood has a huge transfer kitty at his disposal now. Benteke's departure was triggered by a £32.5m release clause, presenting Sherwood with money to spend on a proven replacement.

The Mirror report that Villa are considering a move for Algerian international Slimani, but face competition from Leicester City and West Ham United.

The 27-year-old has hit 25 goals in 63 games for Sporting, and impressed at last summer's World Cup with Algeria, putting himself on the radar of Premier League clubs in the process.

What can Slimani offer Aston Villa?

Slimani has proven himself in Portugal as well as on the international stage, and is a classic centre forward with great aerial ability and enough strength to hold the ball up - just as Benteke did for Villa.

He isn't quite as athletically gifted as Benteke, but he is a hard worker who flourished in Algeria's high-pressing system at the World Cup last summer.

With other Premier League interest, Villa make need to act quickly to land Slimani this summer, but they could do much worse in their pursuit of a Benteke replacement.

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