Aston Villa are planning to open the chequebook as they try to get over the loss of two of their key players, and they have put Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin at the top of their target list, the Metro report.
The club have lost Fabian Delph, who eventually decided to join Manchester City. And while the England international had established himself as one of Tim Sherwood’s key men, it is the potential loss of a teammate that could hit the Villains harder.
The Metro report that Liverpool are closing in on a move for Christian Benteke, after triggering his £32.5m release clause. The Belgian has been the Midlands outfits leading goalscorer for the previous three campaigns, and finished seven goals clear of the next highest scorer last season.
However, they have decided to almost immediately spend nearly half of the money they will receive for the 24-year-old on the QPR forward, who enjoyed a fantastic first year in the top flight, despite his side’s relegation back to the Championship.
He found the back of the net 18 times in the Premier League, leading to speculation that he would be staying at the highest level next season, despite his team’s plight. The Daily Express reported that Chelsea, Newcastle, and Tottenham were just three of the clubs linked with a potential bid.
The Metro suggest however, that with Sherwood’s friendship with QPR director Les Ferdinand, Villa are now favourites for Austin’s signature.
With Delph already through the exit, and Benteke set to join him, Villa need players that are able to handle the pressure of being relied upon, like the departed pair were last season. Although Chris Ramsey’s men failed to stay up, their demise would have been confirmed a lot sooner had it not been for Austin.