It is no secret that Arsenal covets Benteke, the Belgian striker who has almost single-handedly kept Aston Villa in the Premier League this season. Of course, that scenario can apply to most high profile managers and players in the madness that is the summer transfer window. However, there is substance to the likelihood of a deal being struck in the light of comments in the last 24 hours made by the striker himself.
Aston Villa have already realised that Benteke would be a sought after commodity in the Premier League after having such a prolific season, so they have offered him a new, and better, deal. Unfortunately, the player also realises that he has value at the moment, so he is basically putting himself in the shop window by refusing their offer. In fact, he has even mentioned that he would want to move to a club "like Arsenal", should they come calling, going as far as saying that he would ask for a transfer should Villa try to block any Arsenal approach. Here is what the player said at a press conference whilst on international duty for Belgium:-
"If Aston Villa says I must stay, I won't necessarily accept that. I do not in any way want to feel I didn't get the most out of my career."
"Of course playing the World Cup in Rio is in my head. But I have no fear of falling out of the team. There is no point in me getting into a tug-of-war with Villa. If the chance comes up for me to join a club like Arsenal, I'm convinced we can reach a compromise where everyone comes out a winner."
Needless to say, his agent poured cold water over his comments in an attempt to camouflage the fact that he is openly touting his player around the top Premier League clubs; however, there are sources within the Arsenal hierarchy who have indicated that Wenger likes the player and feels that he would be an ideal partner for Djourou.
We will have to wait for someone to make the first move, but at a probable fee around £15m, it looks likely that this will be Arsenal`s first summer transfer.