Aston Villa striker Benteke wanted by Serie A pair

Aston Villa face a fight to hold on to striker Christian Benteke in the January transfer window, the Daily Mail has reported, as Serie A duo Lazio and Juventus are preparing to fight it out for the signature of the Belgium international.

Benteke agitated for a move away from the Midlands this summer before eventually signing a new deal to stay at the club he joined from Genk in 2012. Villa have put a £30m price tag on the 22-year-old following his contract extension that sees him paid a yearly total of £2m.

But the Italian pair have not been dissuaded from pursuing Benteke yet, with Juventus looking for an alternative to Fernando Llorente, their summer signing from Athletic Bilbao who has not prospered thus far in Turin. Lazio, meanwhile, sold Libor Kozak to Villa late in the transfer window.

Benteke scored 23 goals in all competitions in his first season in the Premier League, helping Paul Lambert’s side to safety and drawing interest from Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, the Mail adds. Benteke has started the new season in good form too, netting four times in five club games and helping Belgium to a place at next year’s World Cup.

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