Reported Arsenal target Christian Benteke is set to hold talks about his Aston Villa future in the coming days. After hitting 19 goals in his debut Premier League season following a £7 million move from Genk last summer, the Belgium international has been linked with several of England’s big clubs, while there has also been reports of interest of Borussia Dortmund.
With Villa having now secured their survival following a long fight against relegation, Benteke’s agent, Eris Kismet, expects his client to be rewarded for his prolific campaign with a bumper new contract.
"We did the transfer deal last summer with Aston Villa with a lot of respect,” he said, according to ESPN. “We hope that discussions on a new contract will be done with the same respect. Villa have said they want to speak for several weeks, but it has been difficult because of the situation in the Premier League. Now they are safe and the situation will change."
And Kismet also suggested that if Benteke did not get the contract he wanted at Villa Park, he would have no trouble finding it elsewhere.
"There were a lot of scouts from many teams who have an interest in Christian,” he added. “Now Aston Villa's future in the Premier League is decided we will know more.”
Benteke appears to be one of the options Arsene Wenger is pursuing to fulfill Arsenal’s need for a top quality striker this summer. Also firmly on the Gunners boss’ radar is thought to be Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic. There appears to be plenty of momentum behind the highly rated Montenegrin forward leaving Florence this summer, with Fiorentina CEO Sandro Menucci revealing that Jovetic already asked to leave the club last summer.
“[Jovetic] had asked us last year to have a new experience elsewhere, now we'll see how it goes at the end of the league season,” he said, according to Italian publication Tuttosport. “It would be nice to see him on the field next year with [recent signing] Giuseppe Rossi.”
There is set to be stiff competition for the 23-year-old, however. Indeed, Tuttosport has reported that Italian champions Juventus have already had a €22 million (£18.6m) rejected. Fiorentina are believed to be looking for a fee of €30 million (25.3m).
It does not appear that Arsenal’s recruitment plans any longer include David Villa. The Barcelona forward was the subject of an approach by the Gunners in the January transfer window, but the Catalans refused to let him leave at that time. It is thought that Wenger will switch to younger targets in the summer and now Spanish radio station Cadena Ser has reported that Tottenham are on the verge of sealing a switch for the 31-year-old.
Arsenal are also believed to be chasing a goalkeeper, but reported target Rene Adler has played down suggestions that he will be leaving Hamburg for the Emirates.
"I am under contract with Hamburg, that is a fact,” he said, according to Sky Sports. "I can say that I have not thought about leaving or considered a transfer since I joined Hamburg (in May 2012)."
The 28-year-old Germany international only joined Hamburg from Bayer Leverkusen last summer.