Transfer of Christian Benteke to Liverpool agreed.

It is been reported this morning that Aston Villa’s Belgian striker Christian Benteke is on the verge of signing for Premier League rivals Liverpool in a deal eventually worth £32.5 million. It is said that the Anfield based club have triggered the strikers release clause that was in his Aston Villa contract and that the forward is due to travel to Merseyside for a medical early next week, likely to be on Monday.

Christian Benteke is expected to join Liverpool early next week in a transfer worth around £32.5 million.
Christian Benteke is expected to join Liverpool early next week in a transfer worth around £32.5 million.

Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s chief executive, worked through into the early hours of Sunday morning in Australia, where Liverpool are on their pre-season tour, in discussions with Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox in order to strike a deal for the forward and hand manager Brendan Rodgers the player he has coveted all summer and whom he has admired for more than 18 months. Liverpool’s club doctor Andy Massey will now fly back to Liverpool to oversee the tests in London and should all go according to plan, Christian Benteke will be able to start his new career with Liverpool at their Melwood training base.

It has been decided it would be asking too much to fly Benteke out to Malaysia to join Liverpool’s squad for the final game of their pre-season tour in Kuala Lumpur on Friday and instead he will work with Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, who are due back at Melwood on Wednesday.

The Belgian striker has been a massive success at Aston Villa where he has managed to score 49 goals in 100 total appearances for the club. This represents a ratio of just under a goal in every two appearances at the Midlands side.

Christian Benteke in action last season for Aston Villa.
Christian Benteke in action last season for Aston Villa.

Although a massive transfer fee is being touted in order for Liverpool to sign the striker, it represents a great outlay of funds for the club. This is due to the fact that Liverpool need a big name striker to play alongside and fill in for the injury prone Daniel Sturridge who can bag plenty of goals during his stay at the club. Christian Benteke is already a proven Premier League striker and his conversion rate in front of goal  will only increase playing in front of star names such as Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson. Expect Benteke to make an impact at Anfield if this transfer is completed.

Advertisements

Top transfers that could happen this summer transfer window

As the 2014/2015 football season draws to a close we look at some of the major transfers that could occur this summer and decide how likely each signing is.

Arturo Vidal – Manchester United

Juventus’ Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal is one of Louis Van Gaal’s top transfer targets this summer as he looks to create another title challenging team at Old Trafford. Arturo Vidal has been at Juventus since 2011 joining for €10.5 million on a five-year contract from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in which time he has won the Serie A four times as well as three other major domestic trophies. Vidal has played as a box-to-box midfielder for most of his career as the South American is capable of assisting his team-mates in both defence and attack leading to the Italian press nicknaming him as ‘The Warrior’. The Chilean possesses all round fantastic attributes including pace, technique, stamina, marking, positioning, tackling and anticipation which leaves him as a desired target for the other major European clubs as Vidal has become one of the best complete midfielders currently in the world. Early reports suggest that a fee of around £40 million would be needed to prise the player away from Italy but with Manchester United’s huge summer budget, a deal could easily take place between the two clubs.

Premier League rivals Arsenal are also lining up a bid for the Juventus star according to many media sources, apart from ESPN who state that Arsene Wenger is not looking to do any business with the Turin club.

Chance of transfer – 70%

Paul Pogba – Manchester City/Chelsea

Another Juventus midfielder that could be leaving the Serie A this summer for the Barclays Premier League is Paul Pogba. The gifted French youngster is rapidly becoming one of the most influential midfielders on the continent as this season he has played a massive part in both Juventus’ Serie A title and the teams charge towards the Champions League final against Barcelona. Pogba, who was released by Manchester United in 2012, received the prestigious Golden Boy award for 2013 and has since become one of the best young players in the world, winning the 2014 World Cup tournament’s ‘Best young player’ award. Scoring an impressive 20 goals in 89 appearances from midfield for Juventus, Paul Pogba is a well-rounded box-to-box midfielder who is capable of changing a game both in attack and defence.

Both Manchester City and Chelsea are keen on a deal that would bring the French midfielder, still only 22 years old, to the Premier League this summer with Metro reporting that it is in fact Chelsea in pole position for his signature this summer.

Chance of transfer – 65%

Christian Benteke – Liverpool

It’s no secret that Christian Benteke wants a move away from Aston Villa this summer. The striker has recently stated that he wants to play European football next season; something the Midlands club can’t offer their star forward. Scoring 42 times in 88 appearances for Villa, Benteke is known for his strength and powerful all-round play as well as his finishing. The 24 year old’s impressive goal scoring ratio in the Barclays Premier League has alerted Merseyside side Liverpool in particular as Brenden Rodgers looks for a striker to couple up with Daniel Sturridge. The striker has a £32.5 million release clause in his current contract at Aston Villa, a small fortune that Liverpool could afford.

Chance of transfer – 95%

Radamel Falcao – Chelsea

Although massively out of form during his loan spell at Manchester United this season, Premier League rivals Chelsea are said to be interested in making a move for Colombian striker Radamel Falcao during this summer’s transfer window. With a fee of around £25 million been discussed between Chelsea and AS Monaco over a potential transfer, Falcao could be returning to the Premier League next season.

Chance of transfer – 60%

Raheem Sterling – Real Madrid

Sterling was part of the youth set up at London football club Queens Park Rangers prior to a move to Liverpool under Rafa Benitez at the time in 2010 for an initial fee of £650,000, expected to have since moved up to the £5 million mark. Since then, Sterling has shone for the Reds making 91 appearances for the team and scoring 18 goals in all competitions in the past four seasons. Although struggling this season for Liverpool, the youngster enjoyed the 2013/2014 season where Liverpool boss Brenden Rodgers introduced him into his Premier League starting XI towards the middle part of the season. In 2014 Sterling further claimed the prestigious ‘Golden Boy’ award, previously won by Lionel Messi in 2005, recognising him as the best under-21 player playing in Europe during that season.

After Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward last week claimed ‘he’d even reject £900,000-a-week if Liverpool offered it’, it is almost certain that Sterling will not be a Liverpool player by the start of next season even though the club have stated that he is not for sale at any price. Real Madrid are slowly becoming the favourites in the race for the Liverpool youngster, especially as Rafa Benitez looks set to take charge at the Bernabeu. This transfer race has a long way to go yet though with Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal all further interested in the forward.

Chance of transfer – 80%

Jackson Martinez – Arsenal

Jackson Martinez has been in fine form again this season for Portuguese side FC Porto. The Colombian striker, also captain at the club, has hit 21 goals in 29 Liga Sagres games for Porto this season as the club finished second behind rivals Benfica. Columnist Tim Vickery has previously described Jackson as “an out-and-out goalscorer, a front-to-goal centre-forward who can finish off both feet”. The Colombian striker has been Primeira Liga top scorer in all three of his seasons at FC Porto.

The Daily Express has reported that Jackson Martinez has permission to join Arsenal or Liverpool this summer although Arsenal are very heavy favourites to sign the Colombian forward from FC Porto as the striker is said to want regular Champions League football.

Chance of transfer – 95%

Dani Alves – Manchester United

Barcelona’s Brazilian right back Dani Alves could be moving to the Premier League this season according to some media reports. The Guardian is reporting that Premier League club Manchester United believe that they’re in pole position to sign the 32 year old from the Spanish giants. With Dani Alves becoming a free agent this summer, Barcelona have little power in stopping the Brazilian making a move across Europe. French giants PSG are also said to be interested in a deal for the right back however manager Laurent Blanc has stated that he believes the player will remain at Barcelona for the foreseeable future.

Chance of transfer – 70%

Nathaniel Clyne – Liverpool

Liverpool’s need for a quality right back is desperate as Glen Johnson has struggled this season under pressure. Nathaniel Clyne, only 24 years old, has had an outstanding and very consistent season for south coast Premier League club Southampton and as the right back is only valued at around £15 million, could prove to be a steal for the Merseyside club. Formerly an international at under-19 and under-21 level, Clyne made his senior international debut for England in November 2014 after an impressive start to the 2014/2015 season. He began his career at London club Crystal Palace, playing regularly in four Championship seasons before a move to Southampton, where he has played three seasons in the Premier League.

Chance of transfer – 80%

Morgan Schneiderlin – Manchester United/Arsenal

Southampton’s central defensive midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is one of the most sought after transfers this summer. It is said that Manchester United and Tottenham are interested in the Frenchman however Arsenal are favourites to win the race for his signature. Regardless of this though, Schneiderlin himself has stated a desire to play for Manchester United with it been reported that he has told his close friends that a move to the Red Devils would be his preferred destination according to the Daily Star.

The midfielder has stated a desire to play in the Champions League consistently, something both Manchester United and Arsenal can offer. It is expected that in order to sign the French international both teams will have to part with around £25 million.

Chance of transfer – 90%

What next for Liverpool F.C.?

What does life after Steven Gerrard mean for the Merseyside club?

To say that Liverpool have relied on their captain for 10-12+ years would be an understatement. Gerrard has stuck with the Merseyside club through thick and thin down the years and fully deserves his ‘legend’ title both within the North-Western city but also in the world of football in general. With his move to the L.A Galaxy in the rapidly developing MLS however, their once captain leaves a massive void within the club both on and off the pitch. Understandably in recent years, Gerrard has slowed down and made fewer appearances at the club but his presence will be sorely missed.

First of all, there doesn’t need to be a change in management. Brendan Rodgers will be the first to admit that his team have underwhelmed this season both in the league and the cup competitions but his young age and previous managerial record show that his knowledge within the sport is only going to grow further. It needs to be addressed too that Liverpool fans themselves need to understand that the club will not find another Steven Gerrard figure in this summer’s transfer market and need to possess patience in the near future.

This summer it will be the clubs new potential new signings that will have to do all the talking. First of all, Liverpool desperately need a new central defensive midfielder as Lucas Leiva has had a poor season. Emre Can could provide cover in that position but Rodgers seems to like the German international in a back three system. Liverpool need a defensive powerhouse that will shield the back two and give Henderson the freedom to move forward up the pitch. Victor Wanyama would fit perfectly within this role after having another fantastic season at Southampton and importantly he is tried and tested in the BPL. Yann M’Vila of Rubin Kazan, Axel Witsel of Zenit and Fernando from Shakhtar Donetsk could also fit this demanding role in front of the Kop next season.

Victor Wanyama in action for Southampton.
Victor Wanyama in action for Southampton.

It is not difficult to see that Liverpool have struggled massively in terms of goal scoring either this term as Gerrard himself is top scorer for the team with 12 goals in all competitions subject to this weekend’s final game of the season away at Stoke. Gonzalo Higuaín would cost too much for the club with transfers needed elsewhere on the team however both Aston Villa’s inform Christian Benteke, subject to very heavy rumours http://goo.gl/bvzQNB, and Lyon’s hometown hero Alexandre Lacazette could offer solutions for Rodgers, when Sturridge is out injured, for close to the £20 million mark.

Benteke could make the  move to Anfield this summer.
Benteke could make the move to Anfield this summer.

The Merseyside club further need to make a move for an attacking right-back to fit into Rodgers formation and tactics as Glen Johnson is phased out of the club. The front-runner according to various news articles, including Metro http://goo.gl/UaroqI, is Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal after the Spanish giants signing of Danilo from Porto for £23 million.

Carvajal is subject to strong rumours.
Carvajal is subject to strong rumours.

A new back up goalkeeper and centre back could be on the agenda too as the club look to drop unwanted contracts whilst bringing depth into the overall squad for next season. Peter Cech has been subject to heavy press rumours linking him with a move to Liverpool this summer as he plays second best to teammate Thibaut Courtois at rivals Chelsea however the Reds are more likely to revisit Fiorentina to pick up Brazilian stopper Neto for close to £2 million. At centre-back Rodgers needs strength in-depth. Skrtel has had his usual solid season but Lovren has struggled whilst Sakho has suffered various injury setbacks throughout the course of the year.

Other depth signings could include James Milner whom is sought after by Liverpool and Asier Illarreamendi for £15 million from Real Madrid.