Just as we've been expecting, Aston Villa will be playing hardball in the continuing Christian Benteke negotiations. In the wake of the club's preseason tour in Germany, training will resume on Thursday at Bodymoor Heath, and Benteke would do well to be there if he wants to collect his wages. Mat Kendrick reports that unless Benteke has a valid excuse - likely something along the lines of taking a medical in London - he will be docked a week's wages for not showing up to training.
It's interesting to see Villa taking this firm approach, and in many ways it makes sense. I harbor absolutely no ill-will towards Benteke, but he does have a history of requesting a transfer and then refusing to play. In fact, that's precisely how he got to Aston Villa in the first place.
For Benteke, this likely means showing up on Thursday. While Tottenham are still believed to want the Belgian strike, and Russian club Anzhi may have bid as well, nothing has met Villa's valuation of him. I suppose he could refuse to train, but £20,000 is a lot of money to turn down to prove a point. We'll see how this shakes out and keep you updated.