Aston Villa F.C. manager Tim Sherwood has revealed the club may be forced to sell star striker Christian Benteke if the player’s buyout clause is satisfied.
Ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal, the Belgium international, 24, has tallied 15 goals and three assists in 33 appearances in all competitions for Villa this season.
Benteke, whose current contract at Villa Park expires in the summer of 2017, is reportedly attracting interest from several of Europe’s top clubs, including the likes of Liverpool (1/1), Manchester United (4/1), Tottenham Hotspur (6/1) and Arsenal (8/1).
“There’s a buy-out clause in his contract so it will be impossible for us to stop him if he wants to go,” Sherwood said.
“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.
“We’re building up to a European Championship, which is a huge stage as well. It’s a tournament where you feel that Belgium will be one of the favourites to win it.
“By playing for Aston Villa it hasn’t hindered him being the first choice at Belgium, up to now. So to come here and score at the ratio in which he has scored, since I have taken over, if he ends scoring 20 or 30 goals next season he is probably playing for Real Madrid.”
Since joining Villa from Belgian side K.R.C. Genk for a fee believed to be in the region of £8 million in the summer of 2012, Benteke has bagged 42 goals and eight assists in 88 English Premier League appearances for the Birmingham-based club.
King joins Bournemouth
Newly-promoted Premier League side Bournemouth have completed the signing of Norway international striker Joshua King from Blackburn Rovers.
King, formerly of Manchester United, was offered a new deal by Blackburn but has opted to take his talents to the south coast for a taste of top-flight football.
“The Premier League has always been the dream to play in,” King told the club’s official website.
“I’ve been on the bench for United, I’ve played in the Champions League and FA Cup but never got on for United in the Premier League.
“So if I do get my chance in the Premier League it will be the first so that played a big factor, but the manager was a bit more important.
“I’ve seen what he’s done with the squad here. I’ve watched a couple of games during the season, and the football Bournemouth play suits me very well I think.
“He loves the style I play and he actually thinks I can fit in with the team that’s done brilliantly in the Championship and hopefully will do well in the Premier League as well.”
King, 23, scored four goals in 19 games for Blackburn in 2014/15.