Just two days after Villa saw club captain Fabian Delph join Manchester City in an £8m deal, their star striker looks to be on the verge of completing a move away from the club after three years at Villa Park.
24-year-old Benteke has made it clear that he would like to leave after rejecting the chance to sign a new contract, and with Villa inserting a £32.5m release clause in his current deal, Liverpool have move to activate the buy-out fee and open talks with the Belgium international.
Having made the original offer during the week, officials from both clubs discussed how the payment would be made, with an agreement over the structure agreed in a meeting between Liverpool’s chief executive Ian Ayre and Villa’s Tom Fox.
Ayre is currently in Australia with the rest of the Liverpool squad on their pre-season tour, and negotiations have dragged through the night in both England and Down Under to accommodate for the time difference.
It’s reported that Liverpool will pay £16m up front, with the rest of the fee set to be paid in instalments, although they are not performance-based given that the Reds have to pay the total figure in order to activate the release clause.
Benteke is set to have a medical in London alongside Liverpool’s club doctor Andy Massey, who is currently on his way back from Australia to put Benteke through his paces, meaning that completion of the deal will have to wait until early next week.
But the striker is set to become Liverpool’s seventh addition to the first-team squad this summer as part of Brendan Rodgers’ squad revamp. James Milner and Adam Bogdan were brought in on free transfer while Danny Ings was signed following the expiration of his Burnley contract, although the club will have to pay the Clarets a compensation fee that will be decided by tribunal.
Nathaniel Clyne, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez were also signed by the club this summer, while last year’s acquisition Divock Origi finally arrived on Merseyside following a season-long loan with Lille – the side that Liverpool signed the Belgian from.
The addition of Ings and now Benteke looks to have spelt the end for at least two of Liverpool’s three misfit strikers. Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli have all been linked with moves away from the club this summer, and with only Lambert being included on the pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East, it appears that Borini and Balotelli are set to be sold.
Meanwhile Benteke will become the club’s second most expensive signing in their history, as the £32.5m fee comes just £2.5m shy of the £35m the club paid Newcastle to sign Andy Carroll in 2011. The England striker went on to endure a torrid time at Anfield and joined West Ham last year for £15m.Reuse content