Benteke asks to leave Villa

July 09, 2013
Football - Premier League - Bet Now at Bet365

Aston Villa have confirmed they have received a transfer request from Christian Benteke and are willing to listen to offers for the striker.

The Belgium international was a massive hit at Villa Park last season following his £7million from Genk last summer, scoring 19 Premier League goals as the Villans narrowly avoided relegation.

The 22-year-old's form last term has subsequently seen him linked with moves to the likes Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City.

Manager Paul Lambert had previously warned Benteke not to jump ship yet, claiming other clubs wouldn't help his development or give him as much game time.

However, Villa have now confirmed Benteke has submitted a transfer request but remain hopeful he will change his mind and stay with the club for next season, leaving him out of their pre-season tour to Germany in order to give him time to think.

A club statement read: "In response to reports that Christian Benteke has not travelled to Germany with the club and has made a transfer request, we can confirm that both are accurate.

"For clarity's sake, however, he had already been given extra time off until July 18 and was reminded that there are three years remaining on his contract.

"We consider him to be a Villa player and expect that he will be with us for the 2013-14 season.

"Having received his transfer request, we have also informed him that should we receive an offer within an appropriate timeframe during pre-season which meets our valuation we would act upon it. But he will remain a Villa player should this not happen."

Lambert has expressed his disappointment at the decision of last season's topscorer for Villa but is staying positive over the club’s chances of keeping him.

Lambert added: "While we're hugely disappointed that Christian has put in a transfer request, it's important that people appreciate we are trying to build something strong and vibrant here at the club, something this club demands and stands for, and we want Christian to be part of that."

Villa fans now face the prospect of Benteke lining up against his current club on the opening day, if rumours are to be believed, as the Villans begin their campaign at Arsenal.

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