Lambert rules out selling Aston Villa striker Benteke to Man City

Paul Lambert is said to have put his foot down and ruled out any chance of Christian Benteke leaving Aston Villa for Manchester City this summer, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The newspaper adds that Lambert is equally keen to resist offers from any other of Benteke’s suitors, but does not want to see the Belgium international follow Gareth Barry and James Milner to the Etihad Stadium.

City are said to be considering a move for the 22-year-old after Benteke hit the ground running in his first season in the Premier League, scoring 13 goals so far in what has been a struggling Villa side. Lambert made Benteke his biggest signing of last summer after taking over at Villa Park, paying £8m to bring Benteke to England from Genk.

Lambert believes Villa will remain in the Premier League and has called on the Villa hierarchy – including owner Randy Lerner – to resist the temptation to cash in on Benteke, with City joined by Serie A side Fiorentina in their pursuit of the striker. Fiorentina could sell Arsenal target Stevan Jovetic this summer and would consider Benteke as a replacement.

Villa are currently one place outside the relegation zone, three points above Wigan but having played a game more than the Latics.

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