Christian Benteke: Aston Villa striker signs new deal

 

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has withdrawn his transfer request and signed a new contract until 2017.

The Belgium international, who joined Villa from Genk for £7m last year, handed in the request in early July and was linked with Tottenham and Chelsea.

But after talks with manager Paul Lambert, the 22-year-old has decided his future remains at Villa Park.

"Having had time to re-evaluate his future Christian Benteke has decided to commit to the club," Lambert said.

Benteke did not travel on the club's pre-season tour to Germany, but Villa said he had already been given extra time off until 18 July before the transfer request was made.

Villa subsequently said they would "act" on offers that met their valuation for the powerful 6ft 3in striker.

However, following his return to training on Thursday the player held talks with Lambert and decided to commit himself to Villa.

Christian Benteke

Born: DR Congo, 3 December 1990

Clubs: Standard Liege 2009-2011

Kortrijk (loan) 2009-10

Mechelen (loan) 2010-11

Genk 2011-12

Aston Villa 2012-

"I had a full and frank discussion with Christian on his return to training this week regarding his future," Lambert said.

"It is my opinion that the best thing for Christian is to remain at Aston Villa. He enjoyed a terrific first season at the club and can use that as a platform to hopefully enjoy more success this season.

"It's a huge bonus and I'm sure the supporters are every bit as delighted as me to have him on board and raring to go."

Benteke's future has regularly been the subject of speculation having scored 23 goals in all competitions in his debut season in England.

Villa manager Lambert had even warned the player after comments attributed to him at the end of the season in which he claimed he would like to join Arsenal, the club he supported as a boy.

Benteke says he is now "happy" at Villa Park wants to repay the club's fans for the support they have shown him

"I spoke with the manager when I returned to training and we had a good talk," Benteke said.

"I am very happy to be back here in Birmingham and at Aston Villa, and to sign a new contract.

"This is a great club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my team-mates and the fans who have always been right behind me."

Benteke is the seventh player to agree a new contract following defenders Matthew Lowton, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker, midfielder Ashley Westwood, striker Andi Weimann and goalkeeper Brad Guzan in committing his future to the club.