Christian Benteke may finally get to play in London after all.
After what was a fantastic season with Aston Villa, the 22-year-old is wasting little time in getting out of Birmingham. Stuart James of The Guardian reported the striker put in a transfer request with Villa.
Tottenham Hotspur believe they are best placed to sign Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, and club sources have told ESPN they are considering a bid that would test Villa’s resolve.
Benteke handed in a transfer request this week, and ESPN has been told the Belgium international forward would be open to a move to White Hart Lane.
Villa have put a price tag of £25 million on the player.
James went on to report that Villa are unlikely to budge on their price tag:
Aston Villa have made it clear that Tottenham Hotspur will have to break their transfer record for the second time this summer if they want to sign Christian Benteke.
Tottenham have tracked Benteke for months, and the player is understood to favour a move to White Hart Lane, where he would be guaranteed regular football, yet there are doubts about whether they will be able to meet Villa's valuation, especially after they spent £17m on the Brazilian Paulinho this month.
That's the rub with Benteke: In order to get him, a club is probably going to have to pay way over the odds.
There's no doubting Spurs need a striker. They have for the past four or five seasons, possibly back to when they sold Dimitar Berbatov. The likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane didn't cut it.
Benteke could be somebody who addresses that issue.
Is £25 million a reasonable price for Benteke?
While not the most fleet of foot, Benteke is very powerful on the ball and can hold the ball up at the top of the attack. As his goal tally would attest, he's also a capable finisher.
Benteke had a very good run with Genk in the Belgian Pro League. A club is mostly buying him for the 19 goals in his one season at Villa, though.
Spurs have done such a great job in the past of being careful with their money. Now is not the time to make any rash decisions and choose to splash £25 million on a striker based off one season.
This isn't a player who was garnering attention across the globe prior to his move to Aston Villa. He was a relatively unknown quantity coming out of Belgium. Then, he burst onto the scene as a result of his play in the Premier League.
Benteke could be just growing into his game, and he's only headed up from here. There's also the chance that his performance at Villa is more of an anomaly, and he'll return to earth next season.
If a club is going to spend that much money, it should be absolutely sure that the player it is buying will deliver. Transfers can never be a sure thing, but £25 million should be able to get a club as close as it can get to a sure thing.
Benteke isn't that kind of player. If Spurs can get him for something closer to £15-20 million, that's not as bad. That leaves some money left in this year's transfer budget, while also allowing for some room when Tottenham sell the player on.
Spurs likely won't be deluding themselves into believing that Benteke is in for the long haul. He's not the kind of player to get emotionally invested in his current situation. Benteke has already talked about loving Arsenal and how he thought Villa were a London-based club.
Not one for sentimentality, Benteke is more of a careerist. When a better chance comes along, he's going to take it. You can't begrudge that too much, especially as the player has not gone on about his undying love for his club, nor does he kiss the badge after every goal. As long as he's banging in the goals, there isn't any problem.
If Spurs buy him, then when they sell him on, they will likely need to make a profit. Selling a striker for £30-35 million sounds a lot better when he was bought for £18-20 million instead of £25 million. That's the future Tottenham need to think about.