Aston Villa CEO Tom Fox has confirmed that the club are set to offer star striker Christian Benteke a new deal this summer. The 24-year-old Belgian has two years left on his current contract, but a season that saw him score 15 goals in 37 matches has attracted the interest of clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United. If either club should come officially calling, Villa will be obligated to let Benteke talk with them once a buyout price of £32.5 million has been reached.
In talking to the press at a Sport Industry Breakfast Club event, Fox compared the Benteke situation with that of Fabian Delph earlier in the season:
"No one would have thought that was possible or even something [Delph] should have done and yet he did it. It's about the individual and the relationship he has with the club."
If Villa could in fact secure Benteke's services, it would be a huge boost to the promise of attacking football that Tim Sherwood has brought with him. It would, however, mean that Sherwood wouldn't have the £30+ million to spend that a Benteke sale would make available. Given the number of players who are set to leave the club (and the need for transfers that will force), the decision of whether or not to keep Benteke isn't as clear-cut as we all would have imagined a few months ago.
Nevertheless, it can hardly be a bad thing to see the club trying to keep their best player.