Star man of lowly Aston Villa on radar of Premier League champions

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Aston Villa have not enjoyed the best of Premier League seasons so far, finding themselves second-bottom with 13 games remaining, and odds on to be relegated at 8/15.

The quality of Christian Benteke has shone through for the Villains though, with the powerful forward seamlessly integrating into Paul Lambert’s side since his summer arrival.

Only 22 years of age, the former Genk striker has scored ten times in his debut Premier League season, averaging a goal every two games for the Midlands strugglers.

And his form has not gone unnoticed by some of Europe’s biggest sides, with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City believed to have the most serious interest in Benteke.

Roberto Mancini is keen to bolster his attacking options, especially as the Italian is wary of losing either Carlos Tevez or Edin Dzeko this summer.

City would have to more than double the initial £7 million fee Villa paid for their prize asset, but would be prepared to do so to land a player with considerable resale value.

Indeed, a £20 million fee has been touted, and that should be enough to tempt Villa boss Lambert, and owner Randy Lerner to part with the powerhouse.

What will comfort Lambert though, is that he will retain the striker’s services until the season’s end, as he aims to defy the odds in keeping Villa in the top flight.

Meanwhile, there is little doubt that Mancini would love to have the Belgian international available to him now, as his far-fetched bid to retain the Premier League title continues.

In the aftermath of their shock 3-1 defeat at Southampton this weekend, City are out to 10/1 to land back-to-back trophies, whilst rivals Manchester United are now 1/20 for the title.

It remains to be seen whether or not Mancini will remain at the Etihad to push for Benteke this summer, should a trophy-less campaign materialise, as it looks almost certain to do.

But it looks equally unlikely that Benteke will remain a Villa player beyond this summer.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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