Manchester United look set to make a concrete offer for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke by the end of the week. With Robin van Persie being sent off by manager Louis van Gaal and United desperate for more goals, the move makes abundant sense. United certainly have the money available to pay the £32.5 million required to trigger Benteke's release clause and make any objections from Aston Villa moot.
The move also stands to thwart rumoured interest from Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool. For weeks it has been widely assumed that Liverpool were chasing Benteke, and the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City this week freed up the necessary money to make a move. But none has happened yet and Rodgers may find himself without the Belgian striker simply thanks to dragging his feet.
From the perspective of a Villa fan, this is a pretty touchy situation. On the one hand, keeping Benteke around is good for the club. He's far and away the best goalscorer that Tim Sherwood has at his disposal and Villa rely on him in attack. On the other hand, Sherwood needs to bolster the club at other positions, and while Randy Lerner has been willing to spend a bit this summer, having £28-30 million free (after a sell-on fee is paid to Benteke's former club Genk) could go a long way towards addressing some of the issues.
But I think I can speak for most when I say that if Benteke has to leave, I'd much rather see him at United. He stands to be a first choice striker there, and he could break out as a world-class star. After everything he has done in the past few seasons (including literally saving Villa from relegation), it's hard to begrudge him the chance to move on to a bigger stage.
All of this comes with the caveat that an offer may not happen and it may not be accepted. But as things stand, it looks like Benteke might be gracing the pitch at Old Trafford pretty regularly. And as this whole situation goes, that wouldn't be the worst resolution in the world.