Manchester United have ‘won the race’ to sign Christian Benteke from Aston Villa, according to the Sun.
Benteke has been linked with an exit from Villa Park for over a year with Liverpool his most strongly touted destination. The Belgian has a release clause of £32.5m in his contract.
He signed for Villa in 2012 for £7m and has scored 42 league goals for them – 49 goals in 100 games overall.
As far as we understand it, United hold no interest whatsoever in the striker, but the Sun have made a bold commitment for the man who struck 15 times in 33 games last season.
The Villa forward won the Player of the Month for February and his signing – if, indeed, it is real news and not a stab in the dark made by the Sun, who are not exactly renowned for being first or even reliable for transfer gossip – will not be the most popular at United, whose supporters were hoping for a more high profile striker to replace Robin van Persie and the outgoing Chicharito.
Gregg Evans, a reporter for the Birmingham Mail, has said on Twitter that the deal may be concluded as soon as this weekend. That would mean Benteke would miss the first warm up game but may – if these reports are accurate – join up with United in order to play their second pre-season game.