Man Utd lining up Benteke as Rooney replacement

David Moyes wants Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke to provide power to the Manchester United forward line should Wayne Rooney leave the club in the near future, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Rooney agitated for a move away from Old Trafford during the summer but eventually stayed with the Premier League champions, yet his contract expires in two years’ time and if a new one is not agreed by the end of the season, United will have to reconsider their not-for-sale stance.

Should that happen then Moyes will look to replace Rooney with Benteke, having been impressed by the Belgium international’s Aston Villa career thus far. Moyes watched Benteke personally as Belgium beat Scotland on Friday, with United preparing for life without 30-year-old Robin van Persie – Benteke is eight years younger than the Dutchman.

Benteke looked set to leave Villa Park this summer after issuing a transfer request but was eventually persuaded to stay with a new contract worth £60,000 per week, but manager Paul Lambert is said to feel the new contract was merely a stopgap and that offers for the striker will again be made. The newspaper suggests Moyes could move for Benteke as early as January.

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