Man United leading Liverpool in race to sign Christian Benteke

Manchester United are apparently leading the race to sign Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, and could have him signed by the weekend, according to The Sun.

The report claims that Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal will activate the Belgian international’s £32.5m release clause.

Speculation over his future increased dramatically on Wednesday afternoon when he favourited a Tweet on his personal account from someone saying that he would be good backup for Wayne Rooney.

However, he quickly deleted the evidence, but it follows a similar sequence of events that led to Memphis Depay joining the club from PSV Eindhoven.

Should United manage to snap up the 24-year-old striker, it would take their spending up to a stunning £109.4m this summer alone.

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Having already signed Depay (£25m), midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger (£15m) and Morgan Schneiderlin (£24m), and full-back Matteo Darmian (£12.9m), van Gaal is now apparently ready to turn his attentions towards a new striker.

But the news could come as a blow to Villa boss Tim Sherwood, who is hoping that Benteke will follow in the footsteps of Fabian Delph, who rejected the chance to join Manchester City in favour of remaining at Villa Park.

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