Liverpool have finally sealed the signing of forward Christian Benteke from Aston Villa after a lengthy pursuit of the Belgium international.
The 24-year-old has agreed a “long-term contract” at Anfield after impressing with Villa, where he scored 49 goals in 101 appearances.
It is thought Benteke’s release clause was £32.5 million, which would make him the second most expensive player in Liverpool’s history after Andy Carroll.
“I came here to win trophies,” Benteke told the club’s official website. “I came here to reach some great goals with the team.
“I’m very happy to be part of the Liverpool family now and I will do everything to make them happy and work hard for them and my team-mates.”
It is the latest transfer in a busy window for manager Brendan Rodgers, who has already brought in the likes of James Milner, Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne.
The movement has not all been one way, though, and want-away England star Raheem Sterling completed a switch to Manchester City last week, while Liverpool will be without stalwart and club legend Steven Gerrard next season following his move to LA Galaxy.
Rodgers will be hoping to improve on a disappointing 2014-15 campaign that saw his side finish sixth in the Premier League, having been challenging for the title the season before.
Replacing Luis Suarez – now at Barcelona – has been the Northern Irishman’s biggest problem, with Daniel Sturridge’s injury problems adding to Liverpool’s goalscoring difficulties last season.
In the 2013-14 season they scored 101 top-flight goals, but saw that figure plummet to just 52 last term.
For Tim Sherwood’s Villa it is another blow, albeit one that had been a long time coming, with midfielder Fabian Delph having already departed for Manchester City.
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