Arsenal

Arsenal face battle for Villa frontman

Paul Lambert has warned off Arsenal, as he has told Christian Benteke that he needs a “reality check” after it was announced that he would consider a move to Arsenal.

The Belgian international caught the eye of the top clubs in the Premier League after an impressive debut season, in which he scored 19 goals.

Benteke was interviewed by a Belgian newspaper, in which he admitted that it would be hard to reject a move from one of the Premier Leagues best teams if he was to receive an offer.

He said: ‘If Aston Villa say I must stay, I won’t necessarily accept that. I do not in any way want to feel I didn’t get the most out of my career.’

However, Villa manager Paul Lambert has announced that talk are underway with Benteke about extending his contract, even though it has three years left to run, and has said that there is still room for improvement for the player.

Lambert told talkSPORT: ‘I don’t really 100 per cent know what’s happened but he’s got three years here at Aston Villa and the club have always come first.

‘He’s had one of those seasons where he’s never really been injured and he’s never been suspended except the last day.

‘It’s a unique thing, and he’s got to remember that he’s only 22 years of age – he’s got so much to learn.

‘He’s only a kid starting out and he’s going to have ups and downs like everybody else. Once he starts to play 400 or 500 games you might think, ‘yeah, he’s right good player’.

‘I think sometimes we’ve got to have a reality check here. This lad’s only been in Britain for 10 months. He’s got the status at Aston Villa and everybody loves him.’

On the other hand, Benteke’s agent has defended the striker, by stating that he would not try to force a move away from Villa Park.

Benteke continued: ‘I have asked my agent not to bother me with transfer talk while I am away on Belgium duty. It’s now down to him to do his job. I have known him since I was 14 years old, and I have complete confidence in him.’

Lambert admitted he saw the appeal of moving away from Aston Villa as the player is desperate for a place in Belgium’s 2014 World Cup quad.

Benteke added: ‘Of course playing the World Cup is in my head. But I have no fear of falling out of the team. With my family, I will decide where my future lies.’

Arsenal are in the transfer window for a new striker as Olivier Giroud was unable to fill the shoes of Robin Van Persie completely, and Arsene Wenger has been given a £70million transfer kitty for the summer to spend.

It is rumoured that they will make a move for Benteke following his impressive season, whilst Steven Jovetic and Wayne Rooney are still being linked with the club.

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