The striker is in demand this summer after a return to form in the second half of the season, but his manager insists he is good enough to earn a move to Europe’s elite
Tim Sherwood has told Christian Benteke to ignore interest from Liverpool in favour of staying at Aston Villa and earning a move to a bigger club.
exclusively revealed in April that Villa will demand €42 million for their in-form striker, with Sherwood keen to deter bids for the Belgian, who has nine goals in his last eight games, with a hefty price tag.
Sherwood accepts that a buyout clause in Benteke’s contract means the striker’s future is potentially out of the club’s hands but feels an extra year at Villa Park, leading up to Euro 2016, would serve him better.
“There’s a buyout clause in his contract so it will be impossible for us to stop him if he wants to go,” Sherwood told reporters. “Someone’s got to meet that buyout clause and if they don’t it won’t be considered because we don’t want to lose him.
“We’re building up to a European Championship, which is a huge stage for Christian, and a tournament where you feel that Belgium will be one of the favourites to win it. By playing for Aston Villa it hasn’t hindered him being the first choice for Belgium up to now.
“If he were to stay here and score at the ratio that he has since I took over, and ends up with 20 or 30 goals next season and then has a good Euros, he is probably playing for Real Madrid [in 2016]. Christian could go to the best club in the world if he scores 30 goals next season. He could be that good.”
When pressed on why a prized asset has such a clause, Sherwood added: “Everyone has it,” he said. “Most players would have one when they sign new contracts.” He then joked: “Am I surprised? No – £100m.”