Transfer news: Tottenham target Christian Benteke withdraws transfer request and signs a new contract with Aston Villa

Striker completes surprising U-turn following link with £25m move to Tottenham as he signs a four-year-deal to stay at Villa Park

Tottenham target Christian Benteke has made the astonishing turnaround of withdrawing his transfer request and has signed a new four-year-contract with Aston Villa.

The club confirmed the news after Benteke returned to the club on Thursday, having been given extra holiday to clear his head after he stunned the club by handing in a transfer request.

But the news on his change of heart comes as just as much of a surprise, and it will disappoint Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas who had expressed an interest in signing the Belgian international.

Villa manager Paul Lambert had said that they will not sell Benteke unless they were offered the right fee, with club owner Randy Lerner giving the go ahead to reject any bid that fell short of their £25m valuation.

This posed a problem for any transfer, as few clubs could afford the £25m fee having already spent significant money on the players they have already brought in. With Chelsea focusing on Wayne Rooney and Arsenal trying to sign one of Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez, it left Tottenham as clear favourites to sign the striker.

It appears now though that Benteke is off the market to other clubs and that he is willing to play for the Villans, which will please their fans after he was a key component in ensuring their Premier League survival last season.

Villa manager Paul Lambert said: "I had a full and frank discussion with Christian Benteke on his return to training this week regarding his future. It is my opinion that the best thing for Christian is to remain at Aston Villa.

"He enjoyed a terrific first season at the club and can use that as a platform to hopefully enjoy more success this season.

"I'm delighted, having time to re-evaluate his future, Christian has decided to commit to the club. It's a huge bonus and I'm sure the supporters are every bit as delighted as me to have him on board and raring to go."

Benteke said: "I spoke with the manager when I returned to training and we had a good talk. I am very happy to be back here in Birmingham and at Aston Villa, and to sign a new contract.

"This is a great club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my team-mates and the fans who have always been right behind me.

"The end of last season was very good and the lads were very strong. It was not easy but we came through it and the confidence is high. So everyone knows what we have to do now - be better. I need to be better than last year."

Benteke scored 23 goals in all competitions in his debut season with the club having been signed from Genk, and Lambert will be hoping his decision change will prompt an upturn in form, with Villa looking to steer clear of the relegation fight this time around.

The news came on the same day that right-back Matt Lowton had signed a new four-year contract.

Lowton, 24, impressed in his debut season at Villa after moving from Sheffield United.

Fellow defenders Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker, midfielder Ashley Westwood, striker Andreas Weimann and goalkeeper Brad Guzan have also agreed new deals this summer.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn