LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Liverpool are pushing to sign Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, but could miss out because they are not in the Champions League.
Benteke, according to the Sun, is ready to force a move away from the west Midlands club after helping them survived the relegation battle this season.
The Belgian international reportedly wants to play for a bigger club in Europe next season, as he doesn’t believe Aston Villa will get to that stage anytime soon.
Benteke recently revealed that he would sit down and discuss his future with manager Tim Sherwood, but it is understood he wants to wait until the final outcome of Aston Villa’s performance in the FA Cup final against Arsenal, before revealing his plans.
A win for Aston Villa over Arsenal in the FA Cup would see them qualifying for the Europa League, which would mean European football for Sherwood’s side.
Liverpool are starving for a natural goalscorer and the Sun reports that Brendan Rodgers is willing to double the strikers current wage deal to a reported £100,000 per week to tempt the player to make the switch to Anfield in the summer.
The forward, who would more than likely be a straight replacement for Mario Balotelli, who was a massive disappointment with the Reds this season, is apparently thinking about his options and has not ruled out a move to join Rodgers’ squad.
However, the potential swap could collapse at the first hurdle, as the Reds are no longer in the running to play Champions League football and that is one of the marks Benteke would like to tick-off on his current wish-list.
It is understood that Manchester United or Arsenal could beat their Reds rivals for the 24-year-old because they can offer him the same deal, in addition to a place in the Champions League.
Sherwood has recently said Aston Villa intentions are to do everything possible to keep Benteke, but added that he and the club would not stand in the player’s way if he wants to leave.
The targeted forward has scored 13 goals in the English Premier League this season and has a contract with the Villans until 2017.
Reports in the media outlets also revealed that Serie A side Roma and Bundesliga outfits Wolfsburg are also monitoring Benteke’s situation and could also make a summer approach.