After watching Christian Benteke score 19 Premier League goals this season to ultimately ensure their top-flight survival, Aston Villa would have almost certainly been preparing for a blitz of offers for the Belgian striker this summer.
Villa are in no rush to sell their prize asset though, who is contracted to the club until 2016 and confidence remains high that he will sign an extension that will at least double his wages.
With Belgium in contention for a World Cup spot in 2014 and Benteke currently looking the most likely to lead their line should they reach the finals, regular first-team football will be essential to him maintaining this place, especially with Romelu Lukaku knocking on the door.
Therefore, the 11/10 that Benteke is still a Villa player at the end of the summer transfer window could prove excellent value.
However, there has been some confusion with comments he has made in the close season, which intimated that he would be tempted to depart Villa Park if an approach was made from a bigger Premier League club.
Liverpool have been linked with Benteke as a possible alternative to Luis Suarez and are 9/4 to secure his signature this summer, but it is Tottenham that appear most intent on signing the 22-year-old.
Benteke would arguably be the perfect striker to fit into their formation, but Villa’s demands of £25m+ will mean Tottenham need to break their transfer record to land their man.
It has been speculated that Tottenham are trying to ease their financial outlay by offering Jermain Defoe as a makeweight, but there is little chance of Aston Villa accepting such a swap.
After all, Paul Lambert has struggled to find room for Darren Bent in his starting line-up this season, so there will surely be little appeal in another England poacher, even if Defoe’s all-round game is slightly superior to that of his former Tottenham teammate.
It is 8/1 that Benteke joins Tottenham before September 1st, with Defoe 4/7 to still be at White Hart Lane on the same date.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.