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Liverpool linked to absurd offer for Aston Villa's Christian Benteke

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If Aston Villa get offered £40 million for Benteke they should take it. But they probably won't.

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We've already had a few transfer rumours for the summer, but none quite like this one. Metro are reporting that Liverpool have opened transfer talks for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke. The supposed value of the big Belgian? Forty million pounds.

Let's run with that number for a moment. If Aston Villa were offered £40 million for Benteke, they should take it and run away as quickly as they could. Benteke was the club's leading scorer this season with 15 goals in all competition (hopefully a few more remain) and he is unquestionably an incredible player. But £40 million he is not. The total seems high mostly because of the low-scoring environment that Benteke plays in at Villa Park.

Charlie Austin, for comparison's sake, scored 18 goals in just the Premier League this season. Villa have been connected with Austin, and for something around £8 million, I think it would be a great move. But heck, if Villa get £40 million for Benteke, throw £15 million at QPR, ensure that you get Austin, and use the other £25 million to bolster the team elsewhere. Realistically, you could probably spend half of that rumoured Benteke fee and get both Austin and Danny Ings with plenty to spare.

So yeah, £40 million should be an almost immediate "yes" from Tim Sherwood. Thanks for the help, Christian, but we need this money.

There's a problem, though. The £40 million number reported by Metro (and the one that will be played with in the press going forward) seems to have been drawn out of a hat. Reports that Liverpool have opened up talks with Aston Villa look to have originated in the Express, and they say that Brendan Rodgers and the Fenway Sports Group are looking for a £20 million move. Yes, they also admit that Villa may want more, but the number given is £30 million.

So even if you take the high end of the Express report, we're still £10 million short of what Metro have to say. Let's have two takeaways from this story. The first is that Villa won't be getting rid of Christian Benteke for anything less than at least £25 million, but £40 million is probably pants-on-head crazy. The second: be careful with transfer rumours. If you believe what you read without a bit of investigation, you might start actually trusting the ridiculous numbers spewed by places like Metro.

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