Christian Benteke is pushing Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur to finalise a deal by Thursday so that he can join up with his new team mates as soon as he returns from an extended break after handing in a transfer request last week.
Spurs have yet to make a formal offer for the Belgian international but have proposed a deal worth around £20million for the striker which falls short of Villa”s £25million valuation.
Benteke is due to return to training under Paul Lambert on Thursday but having made it clear he does not want to play for Villa again has asked that the clubs finalise the transfer before then so that he does not have to meet up with his former team mates.
Spurs are believed to be willing to offer Benteke £70,000 a week which the striker is agreeable to but unless Villa drop their asking price Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy may prefer to hold out in the knowledge that due to Benteke”s transfer request and Lambert”s resignation to losing him the club are in a weak position to negotiate.
Levy has also considered offering players as part payment in the deal with Clint Dempsey rumoured to be one of them but Villa chairman Randy Lerner will reject any bid that does not offer close to the club”s valuation of Benteke who netted 19 times in his first season in the Premier League making him one of the summer”s hottest properties.
Spurs have already broken their club transfer record with the £17million signing of Brazilian international Paulinho from Corinthians but manager Andre Villas-Boas has highlighted the centre-forward position as needing strengthening this summer if the club are to realise their Champions League ambitions.
The North Londoners have already missed out on Barcelona”s David Villa and will have to be wary of Chelsea and Arsenal”s interest in Benteke if those clubs fail to sign their targets, though Spurs are thought to be his preferred destination.
The Belgian has three years remaining on his contract with Villa having only signed from Genk last year and the actions of the player”s agent Eris Kismet have made relations with the club tense after he was instrumental in drumming up interest in Benteke early in the transfer window.
Benteke was offered a contract extension and improved terms earlier in the summer but has since demanded a move resulting in Lerner and the board hardening their resolve to get the full sum they desire for his services.