Liverpool transfer news: 'World-class’ Christian Benteke should stay, says Fabian Delph

Benteke has been linked with a move to Liverpool this summer and has a £32.5m release clause in his current contract

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The Independent Online

The Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph said yesterday that he hoped striker Christian Benteke will stay at the club this summer, conceding that it would be hard to replace the Belgian if he is prised away.

Benteke is the target of a number of Premier League clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool as well as Chelsea, potentially. Delph, speaking at the England team hotel ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia, said that he would not try to talk Benteke out of leaving if that was his decision.

“It [Benteke leaving] would have a big effect,” Delph said. “He is a great player, world-class in my opinion, a good lad to have around as well. It would be a big loss. He scores a lot of goals. I wouldn’t try to convince anybody [not to leave].

 

"Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions. If they have a chance to move on and better themselves, I can’t tell them not to do that. If they want to commit themselves to the club and stay there, then happy days as well. But it is down to that individual.”

Delph committed his own future to the club in January when he signed a new deal until 2019, despite being able to leave as a free agent this summer. The 25-year-old described the decision as a “no-brainer” and manager Tim Sherwood has rewarded him with the captaincy in a season in which he won his first five caps for England.

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Delph says signing a new contract was a 'no brainer'

Delph said the 4-0 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal had not lingered for long when the Villa players reflected on the quality of their opponents. He said: “It was probably the best I’ve seen Arsenal perform this season.”

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