Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has revealed that star striker Christian Benteke has a substantial release clause in his contract, which is reported to be around £32.5million.
This comes after reports linking the in-form striker with a big money move away from Villa this summer.
Sherwood’s confirmed the release clause at a press conference ahead of Villa’s FA Cup final appearance against Arsenal on Saturday. The former-Spurs boss said: “There’s a buy-out clause in his contract so it will be impossible for us to stop him if he wants to go.
“Someone’s got to meet that buy-out clause and if they don’t, it won’t be considered because we don’t want to lose him.
“Everyone has it. Most players would have it when they sign new contracts. I don’t know what the figure is, but I believe it will be quite substantial.
“He’s made no indication that he wants to leave. I’ve not had a conversation with him. I’ve told you my view on it. I don’t think he should be moving clubs before a European Championship.
If Christian Benteke wants to leave Villa this summer then he will leave. The club seem to have accepted that fact and they can do little about it apart from only accept the minimum release clause and no less for the striker.
Christian Benteke has rediscovered the form of his first season in English football of late, having scored 12 goals in his last 12 appearances for the Villans. This sort of form is not beyond the striker who has now scored 42 goals in 88 Premier League appearances.
That strike-rate is pretty impressive considering the fact that Villa have struggled for goals and at times there has been very little creativity in their team during his stay in the Midlands. In a good team his goalscoring record would no doubt be far more impressive.
Benteke seems to be enjoying playing under Tim Sherwood at Villa, as he had struggled to score goals under the previously regime of Paul Lambert. However, the whole team struggled to score goals under the Scot, so the improvement in form should not be a surprise.
Christian Benteke at 24-years-old has the potential to be a truly world-class striker. He is currently a very good striker, but with his pace, power and heading ability he has everything in his locker to be the perfect Premier League striker.
Benteke should have a number of Premier League suitors this summer, as a number of the league’s top clubs are in need of a new striker.
The likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been linked with summer moves for the talented Belgian star. All three could do with a new striker for next season.
Arsenal have French international Olivier Giroud as first choice striker, but there are doubts over the former-Montpellier’s strikers ability to lead the Gunners to Premier League glory.
Former-Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has not exactly set the world alight in his short career in north London either. Benteke may not be the world-class option that Gunners fans would like to see at the club, but he would definitely add something to their strike-force.
Liverpool are desperately in need of a new striker this summer. England international Daniel Sturridge is injury-prone, while other strikers Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini have all struggled to impress on Merseyside.
The Reds have struggled to score goals this season and they finished sixth in the Premier League. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is now under extreme pressure to get things right this summer in the transfer market or he could be heading for Anfield exit door.
Chelsea will be down to two strikers this summer in the shape of Diego Costa and Loic Remy, with veteran striker Didier Drogba deciding to leave the Blues for a second time after his short-term contract expired.
No doubt Benteke would thrive at Stamford Bridge, but he would be swapping regular first team football at Villa for playing a bit part role at Chelsea. Whether that would appeal to the striker remains to be seen.
Saturday’s FA Cup final will give Benteke the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills, as he takes on one of the Premier League big boys in Arsenal. His future at Villa looks unclear, but an FA Cup final winner on his CV would do his chances of a big money move this summer no harm that is for sure.
Where will Christian Benteke be plying his trade next season?