Aston Villa striker Benteke a summer Arsenal target

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke could be set to start a £16m transfer scramble in the summer, reports the Daily Mirror.

The Belgian international has been a sensation since arriving at Villa Park, scoring 14 goals in 27 appearances for the struggling Midlanders. The Mirror reports, however, that the player could already be preparing to leave Villa Park in the summer, even if Paul Lambert’s young guns manage to avoid relegation to the Championship.

Chelsea and champions Manchester City are reportedly interested in bringing the 22-year-old in, though North Londoners Arsenal appear favourites to acquire the striker’s obvious talents.

Benteke has previously expressed his admiration for the Gunners and Arsene Wenger is known to be keen to recruit a new striker during the summer window as part of a big squad reshape, but competition is likely to prove stiff with Atletico Madrid also likely to offer Benteke a path out of Villa Park should Radmael Falcao leave.

Benteke’s Villa team-mate Karim El Ahmadi expressed his opinion a few days ago that the striker is worth at least £40m but that the club should not be tempted to sell even at that price. However, if the Belgian is determined to leave it appears likely that the Villans will settle for around the £16m mark for a player they paid only £7m to Genk for last summer.

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