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Stan Collymore hopes Aston Villa are not tempted to bring Christian Benteke back to the Midlands despite the striker being made available for just £8 million by Crystal Palace, according to the Mirror (11 August, page 47).

When Villa were linked with a shock move to re-sign their former Holte End hero during the January transfer window, the temptation was to immediately write off the rumours as little more than paper talk.

But it seems that, for whatever reason, Aston Villa were indeed interested in offering Benteke a fresh start at the club where he started his Premier League career as a fresh-faced, little known youngster.

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Speaking to RTBF in June, Benteke’s agent claimed that Dean Smith’s side made an offer, perhaps hoping that the Belgium international could once again become a feared force in claret and blue.

With the Mail suggesting that Crystal Palace are willing to sell for a £20 million loss, Collymore would not be surprised to see those eternal links appear once again.

“Christian Benteke hasn’t had a decent game for five years but I guarantee an £8 million price-tag will pique the interest of a few Holte Enders and maybe even Aston Villa chairman Christian Purslow,” the Villa hero says.

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“I’d follow the old adage of never going back if I was Villa, because it would simply be a case of throwing good money after bad.

“You can’t just wish and hope your way back to form.”

Benteke did save Crystal Palace from relegation with 15 goals in his debut season at Selhurst Park but, in the last three years, he has found the net just five times in 69 times.

If Villa want a reliable centre-forward, they won’t find him here.

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