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Benteke could leave Villa in the summer; Obiang flattered by City link

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke could leave the club in the summer.

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke could leave the club in the summer, according to the player’s agent, with Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur among the clubs monitoring the Belgium international.

Benteke, 22, has undoubtedly been one of the signings of the season in the English Premier League, having bagged 15 goals and eight assists in 28 appearances for the Birmingham-based club.

The 22-year-old joined Villa on a four-year contract from Belgian Pro League side K.R.C. Genk in a deal worth around £8 million in the summer.

Earlier this week, Villa manager Paul Lambert revealed that he will not allow Benteke to leave on the cheap, insisting that clubs will have to pay over £16 million to land the Belgian.

Benteke has established himself as the No. 1 front-man for both club and country this season, and rightfully so.

He has surpassed Darren Bent on the club level and Chelsea centre-forward Romelu Lukaku on the international level.

The Belgium international’s agent, Eris Kismet, has not ruled out a summer move for Benteke, despite the steep £16 million price-tag placed on his client.

“It is normal that if you go to a club and do well, then other clubs will show an interest,” said Kismet in the Daily Telegraph.

“Christian has shown that he can play in England so why not take the step up to the next level if the opportunity is there?

“At the end of the season, interested clubs will talk to Villa, but it has to be right for Villa, the buying club and Christian.

“If all three parties are agreeable, something could happen, but right now his focus is on Villa, helping them stay in the Premier League.”

The good news for Benteke and Kismet is that a number of big clubs, with seemingly unlimited funds, are interested in the 22-year-old, meaning that a £16 million price-tag should not be a stumbling block.

Obiang flattered by City link

U.C. Sampdoria midfielder Pedro Obiang has admitted that he is ‘flattered’ by reports linking him with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City, Sky Sports understands.

Obiang, 20, has been a mainstay in Sampdoria’s starting XI this season, and has also received glances from the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and unnamed clubs in Italy and Spain.

The Spain Under-21 international has featured in 20 of the club’s 24 league fixtures, with one goal and four assists to his name.

In addition, the Spaniard — who is of Equatoguinean decent — has been quite sure but robust in the tackle this season.

Obiang picked up 11 bookings in 17 Serie B matches last term. In 2012-13, the 20-year-old has been shown yellow just four times in 20 league matches.

“I am being flattered by reports in the Italian press but nothing is done yet,” Obiang told Sky Sports.

“I have a contract until 2016 and I do not think they want to sell me.

“I am settled here and I like the life but to be honest it is good to be linked with clubs going places like City where there are big stars and a very good coach who is a legend here at my present club.”

Sat 16 February, 2013
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