Have Aston Villa Given Up On Christian Benteke?

It sure appears that way, if The Guardian's latest report is to be believed. We've gone full-blown saga here, with tales of rejected bids, improved bids, crazy valuations and rumours of the Belgian striker threatening to boycott Genk's upcoming Champions League fixture if they refuse to sell him. Since Aston Villa are working on a budget, it's difficult to justify spending the 11 million pounds Genk are reported to want for the young forward. It seems like we're moving on, for now, but I wouldn't call this one 100% over yet.

Robert's Addition: I saw a lot of people earlier today who were concerned that the Jordan Bowery signing would mean an end to our attempts to get Benteke, and I'm afraid they will use this as confirmation. Bowery doesn't seem to have been a signing to win in the here-and-now, but rather someone like Enda Stevens was last year: a smart signing that gave depth down the road. Not pursuing Benteke seems to be a pure matter of economics. Aston Villa initially offered £5.5 million for the striker, and had their bid rejected. Instead, Genk seem to think that Benteke is worth double that. Whether or not he actually is, if Villa can only spend £5.5 million (or just a bit more, adding in some wiggle room for bargaining), it's not worth it to spend twice that. Benteke may be great, but he's certainly not well-established enough to justify fiscal irresponsibility.

In short: calm down, everyone. Money is being spent, it's just not being flushed away.

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