Aston Villa close in on young Belgium ace

Aston Villa have stepped up their pursuit of young Genk ace Christian Benteke, according to the Guardian.

Villa have made a disappointing start to the campaign with defeats away at West Ham and at home to Everton last Saturday. Benteke, 21, will create a much needed attacking option for the West Midlands club who are currently relying on Darren Bent to bag their goals, with Gabriel Agbonlahor currently on the sidelines, and Nathan Delfouneso and Andreas Weismann still not ready to step up into the first-team.

After spending several seasons out on loan at several Belgian clubs, Benteke finally broke into the Genk first team last season scoring an impressive 18 goals in 33 appearances in the Belgian Pro League.  The 6 foot 3 striker is supposedly a strong threat in the air and has also attracted interested from fellow Premier League clubs Fulham and Everton.

Benteke, who scored his first international goal for Belgium in an impressive 4-2 win over Holland this month, is likely to cost Aston Villa £5.5 million in order to prize him to Villa Park for the forthcoming campaign. Speculators in Belgium believe that Benteke’s move to Aston Villa should be completed before the end of the transfer window.

Meanwhile, in other news concerning Aston Villa, manager Paul Lambert has told defenders Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton that they are surplus to requirements for the club and that any money made on the pair before the end of the transfer window can be re-invested on bringing more new additions to Villa Park.