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Posts Tagged ‘Aston Villa’

Benteke Weighs up his Options – London Calling

Aston Villa’s 22-year old striker Christian Benteke has been talking about his future career path at a press conference in the USA whilst on international duty with the Belgian national team. Benteke, who was fourth top scorer in the 2012-13 Premier League season with nineteen goals in his debut season in English football is hot property and has been linked with a big money move away from Villa Park.

He was quoted as saying “If Aston Villa say 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” and “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.” However, his agent moved to play down the speculation by reiterating that his client is happy at Villa.

Benteke’s words will obviously have alerted Arsenal, who reportedly have money to spend this summer and may be on the look out for a striker to bolster their forward line. However, there hasn’t been any confirmed interest in Benteke from the Arsenal camp and it remains to be seen whether Arsene Wenger would be prepared to splash out a large amount of money on one player from the Premier League rather than continue to look for value overseas.

If Christian Benteke does decide to push for a transfer away from Villa Park this summer and the Emirates Stadium isn’t to be his destination then he could still end up in London where Chelsea might show an interest if Jose Mourinho does take over as expected. Mourinho is known to be a fan of the strong, bustling centre-forward type player who is also good on the ball and he could look to build his attack around someone like Benteke in the image of his successful Stamford Bridge teams that were spearheaded by Didier Drogba.

The alternative destination in London could be White Hart Lane. Many people were surprised when they didn’t sign a striker in the January transfer window and Andre Villas Boas will probably look to strengthen his striking options this summer. News that Gareth Bale is staying put shows that they are ambitious to improve next season and Spurs will need a big squad to cope with their domestic and European campaigns so Benteke would be a logical recruitment for Tottenham Hotspur.

Aston Villa and Birmingham City chase Colombian striker

Transfer rumours have surfaced that the Premiership pair of Villa and Birmingham City are looking at a surprise move for Porto’s Colombian international striker Radamel Falcao.  The former River Plate striker has hit 10 goals in just 14 league games. 

The report surfaced this morning via a British website, who don’t name their source, and interestingly the story doesn’t appear, thus far at least, to have been picked up in the ever-hungry Portuguese sports-press. Nevertheless a move for Falcao for either side would represent quite a coup.

Falcao has been hugely impressive for FC Porto in his first six months at the club following his summer arrival from the Argentine game.  By no means the tallest striker, Falcao combines an outstanding technique on the ball with deadly finishing.  Not only has he scored 10 goals in the Superliga this season, which makes him second top scorer behind Benfica’s Javier Saviola, but he has also helped himself to three goals in the Champions League games. 

Falcao is by no means a stranger to the English transfer columns, as he was also linked in the summer with a move to Liverpool for a fee thought to be around the £5.5 million mark.  However, Rafa Benitez apparently decided against a move, and Falcao switched to Portugal instead.

Both Villa and City have been looking at forward options, especially Alex McLeish’s side, who have been linked with various strikers including Standard Liege’s Milan Jovanovic and Salazburg’s Marc Janko.  Both of those are tall targetman type forwards, so the link with Falcao is something of an alteration.  Villa are believed to be looking for another forward, who can ease the pressure of Gabriel Agbonlahor, and partner a taller striker like Emile Heskey or John Carew, so their connection with Falcao seems more likely given the type of player he is.

If Porto do sell one of their star turns just months into his stint at the Dragao there will be uproar amongst the fans already upset with their side languishing behind both Sporting Braga and worse yet Benfica in the league standings.  A departure for Falcao would add further credence to the theory that Porto have become a selling club in the past 18 months after moves away for the like of Lisandro Lopez and Nucho Gonzalez both to French football in the summer.

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