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Christian Benteke Hands In Transfer Request

The question of the summer appears to have an answer: star striker Christian Benteke is not with Aston Villa in Germany and has handed in his transfer request, the club confirms.

This is Christian Benteke wearing a Belgian kit.
This is Christian Benteke wearing a Belgian kit.

The Christian Benteke Experience at Villa Park appears to be coming to an end.

Once Aston Villa settled the question of which division they would be occupying in 2013, the big question on everyone's mind was the fate of Christian Benteke. Most of the fans had been sitting on their hands all summer long as the rumors ebbed and flowed but nothing concrete surfaced.

We had discussed the potential destinations for Benteke in a Gareth Simpson piece just the other day and couldn't really see a good fit for him on any of them. I think most of us assumed his departure would come via a substantial bid from one of the giant clubs of Europe. Instead, Christian Benteke himself took the necessary step to secure his departure by asking Paul Lambert to sell him as soon as possible.

We cannot know how this will unfold from here. Will Lambert and Villa hold firm on their large asking fee? Will Benteke stay in England? Might he end up staying at Villa after all? It sounds like it's going to be a busy week for Paul Lambert who was obviously hoping to have his full squad available for the preseason.

More on this story as it develops.