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Sunday 4 December 2016

Liverpool on high alert as Sherwood says 'Benteke can leave if he wants to'

Christian Benteke's agent says the Belgian striker is focused solely on Aston Villa
Christian Benteke's agent says the Belgian striker is focused solely on Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood will not stand in Christian Benteke's way if the striker wants a lucrative move to another club this summer.

Benteke is likely to be a transfer target for big clubs in the coming months, with Liverpool the latest to be linked after his run of nine goals in eight games.

Sherwood has no intention of selling the big Belgian but concedes if Benteke wanted to go and the money was right, he would be allowed to leave.

He said: "I haven't heard anything about that, but it's good news that people are talking about Christian again because he's scoring goals and if he's scoring goals for us, we're happy.

"I've no idea what he'd cost, because I don't want to sell him. It would have to be a lot of money for anyone to take him from us.

"He'd be too expensive for a great deal of clubs in the Premier League. But we're not looking to sell our assets and he's certainly one of those.

"If a player doesn't want to play for the club anymore and the club he wants to go to meet the valuation then I think it's always best to let them go."

The former Tottenham boss added: "It would be about the market value of what's out there but I have no intention of selling Christian.

"He's enjoying his football and I saw some positive things said by his agent, saying he had not talked to other clubs or seen any interest from other clubs and that Aston Villa were playing the best football out of any team in the league. I think he was spot on there."

Indeed, the 24-year-old's agent Eris Kismet said this week his client was focused solely on Villa, where the forward has hit a purple patch after managing only three goals this season under Sherwood's predecessor Paul Lambert.

"At the moment, there is no interest," Kismet told Sky Sports News HQ.

"Every player and staff member is concentrated on avoiding relegation, anything else is just a distraction.

"I know everyone wants the same thing because I watch the games and I think Aston Villa are playing the best football in England right now."

Villa face Everton this weekend just two points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

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