Christian Benteke returns for pre-season training with Aston Villa despite speculation surrounding a move to Tottenham

Striker would have faced a fine had he failed to appear at the club today but Spurs could be ready to launch a £20m bid for the Belgian

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The Independent Football

Christian Benteke has arrived at Aston Villa’s training ground at Bodymoor Heath to rubbish rumours that he would fail to appear as he seeks a move away from the club.

Benteke scored 23 goals in all competitions last season, going a long way to keeping Paul Lambert’s side safe from the drop, but he then shocked fans when he handed in a transfer request at the beginning of the summer.

Tottenham is believed to be his favoured destination, although Chelsea have also been linked with a move despite their interest in Wayne Rooney.

Benteke was afforded extra holiday to clear his head and try and reduce the rumours that he would refuse to play for the club until he was allowed to leave, missing the club’s tour of Germany, but Lambert made his intentions clear when he put a £25m price-tag on the Belgian’s head.

Villa were ready to reward Benteke for his fine form last season by more than doubling his wages from £28,000 to £60,000-a-week.

It had been reported that Villa would fine the striker if he failed to show up, with a minimum £20,000 ready to be deducted from his wages should he ignore Villa’s wishes for him to start pre-season training.

Spurs are believed to be ready to lodge a £20m bid for Benteke later this week, although the extra 15% sale bonus that Villa will have to pay his former club Genk is likely to force owner Randy Lerner to maintain his demand for £25m.