herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Liverpool pay out £32.5m for Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke is due for a medical with Liverpool in the next 48 hours
Christian Benteke is due for a medical with Liverpool in the next 48 hours

Liverpool have reached an agreement with Aston Villa over the payment terms for the £32.5m transfer of Christian Benteke.

A bid to trigger the Belgium international's release clause was submitted on Friday and Reds chief executive Ian Ayre, who is with the squad in Australia on their pre-season tour, has been conducting negotiations over the weekend as to just how and when that money will be paid.

A satisfactory conclusion has been reached in those discussions with Liverpool believed to be paying half the fee up front.

The 24-year-old will now undergo a medical, which is likely to take place on tonight or tomorrow morning.

As a result Benteke will not be joining his new team-mates for the remainder of their tour, with the squad due to fly to Kuala Lumpur for a match against a Malaysia XI on Friday after today's friendly against Adelaide United.

Ayre stayed up through the night in Australia to thrash out the final terms of the deal, which will see the Reds pay £16m up front with further payments over the course of the deal taking it up to the full £32m.

Dr Andy Massey flew home last night from Adelaide to London where the proposed medical will take place.

The signing is seen as a show of support for manager Brendan Rodgers from owners Fenway Sports Group after a robust end-of-season review of last campaign's sixth-placed finish which resulted in the sacking of assistant manager Colin Pascoe and first team coach Mike Marsh's contract not being renewed.

Benteke was Rodgers' primary transfer target this summer as he wants to add some strength to his attacking options but also needs a front-line striker who can withstand the rigours of the Premier League.

Daniel Sturridge made just 18 appearances last season after missing virtually the first five months of the campaign with injury.

He is likely to be sidelined until at least September after undergoing surgery on a hip problem which ended his campaign in April.

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