Spaniards eye Aston Villa ace as striker replacement

Atletico Madrid have reignited their interest in Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke as a possible replacement for Diego Costa, according to the Daily Mail.

Benteke is set to miss Villa’s Boxing Day clash with Crystal Palace, after returning to Belgium to see a specialist about a niggling knee injury, which has played it’s part in the forward’s 10-game goal drought.

The 23-year-old has looked a shadow of the forward who spent last season terrorising Premier League defences, but Atletico are understood to remain keen admirers.

The Spanish title contenders have a growing concern they could lose Diego Costa in the summer, with a host of clubs prepared to meet his £32million release clause after a series of superb displays.

Costa has managed 23 goals in 20 games this season, and has reportedly been attracting attention from Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Liverpool failed with a bid to sign the in form striker in the summer.

Benteke’s agent has dismissed the idea he could leave in January, after only signing a new contract in the summer following interest from the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea.

However, the fact he remains eligible for the Champions League makes him an attractive target for Atletico, who may try their luck with a bid in the final few days of the transfer window.

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