Christian Benteke to Liverpool: Reds to 'use Rickie Lambert as bait' in pursuit of Aston Villa striker

The Belgian is one of Liverpool's top targets this summer

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The Independent Football

Liverpool will use veteran striker Rickie Lambert as bait in their move for Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, according to reports.

Benteke, who finished the season with 12 goals in his final 12 games to help Tim Sherwood's team stay in the Premier League, is one of Liverpool's top targets this summer, as the club look to revamp their striking options.

According to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool will offer Lambert, 33, as part of a potential deal for the Belgian striker.

Liverpool agreed to sell Lambert to Villa in January, with the striker turning down a move to the Midlands as he wanted to prove himself at Anfield.

The Mirror report that Aston Villa would still be interested (though fail to mention that it was former manager Paul Lambert who wanted to bring Lambert to Villa Park, not current boss Sherwood).

Lambert turned down a move to Aston Villa in January

Sherwood has stated that he does not want to sell his star, whilst Chelsea are also linked with a move, whilst Lambert is attracting interest from Crystal Palace and Premier League new boys Bournemouth.