- Premier League
Benteke agent: Striker may take 'step up'
Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke is attracting the attention of a host of top clubs and his agent has revealed that he could be tempted to step up to the 'next level' in the summer.
Benteke, 22, arrived at Villa from Genk in a £8 million deal in August and his physical style has won him many admirers as he has plundered 11 goals in 23 appearances in the Premier League.
Villa boss Paul Lambert insisted earlier this month that Benteke would cost at least double what the club paid for him, but as Tottenham, Arsenal and Dortmund all watch the Belgian closely, his agent Kismet Eris has insisted that he could move on.
"It is normal that, if you go to a club and do well, then other clubs will show an interest," he told the Guardian. "Christian has shown that he can play in England. So why not take the step up to the next level if the opportunity is there?
"At the end of the season interested clubs will talk to Villa - but it has to be right for Villa, the buying club and Christian. If all three parties are agreeable, then something could happen. But right now his focus is on Aston Villa - and helping them stay in the Premier League. He wants to repay Paul Lambert for the faith that has been shown in him. He has scored a lot of goals this season and wants to give 100% between now and the end of the season.
"But Villa will now ask a big price for Christian, much more than they paid for him, because Paul Lambert was the one who gave him his chance. There will be clubs asking about Christian next summer because he's proved he can do it in England. None of the big clubs wanted to take a chance on Christian when he was still unknown. I have been with Christian for 10 years now. I know what his ambitions are - he wants to do well in England."