Aston Villa close in on Genk striker Christian Benteke

 

Aston Villa are closing in on the signing of Belgium international
striker Christian Benteke with the Genk player flying to Birmingham for
talks with the midlands club, Press Association Sport understands.

Villa are believed to be on the verge of finally agreeing a fee for the 21-year-old who has been a major target in recent weeks for manager Paul Lambert.

Genk had previously rejected two bids from Villa for Benteke who earlier in the week had revealed it was "his dream" to play in the Barclays Premier League.

Lambert has watched the player in action on several occasions and feels he is the right kind of forward to supplement Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Benteke has netted three times in five games this season after being on target 18 times during the 2011-12 campaign in all competitions.

He also scored for his country for the first time in the 4-2 win over Holland earlier this month in what was his fifth cap.

Crewe skipper and midfielder Ashley Westwood could also be moving to Villa before the transfer window with a fee close to being thrashed out with the Gresty Road club.

If the two deals go through, it will take the number of summer signings by Villa to eight.

Chesterfield striker Jordan Bowery joined earlier in the day for an undisclosed fee on a three year contract.

Defenders Ron Vlaar, Joe Bennett and Matt Lowton and midfield duo Brett Holman and Karim El Ahmadi had previously linked up with Villa.

PA

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