Christian Benteke: Aston Villa striker submits transfer request

Christian Benteke

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke has submitted a transfer request but the club still expect him to stay.

The 22-year-old signed from Genk for £7m last summer and went on to score 23 goals in all competitions.

Villa have told Benteke, who has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, they will "act" on offers that meet their valuation.

"He will remain a Villa player should this not happen," the club said in a statement.

"He was reminded that there are three years remaining on his contract, we consider him to be a Villa player and expect that he will be with us for the 2013-14 season."

Benteke has not travelled 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.

Manager Paul Lambert said he was "hugely disappointed" at the Belgium international's transfer request.

Lambert said: "It's important that people appreciate we are trying to build something strong and vibrant here at the club, something this club demands and stands for, and we want Christian to be part of that."

Benteke ended the season as the fourth-highest Premier League scorer in 2012-13, and his goals were crucial in helping Villa avoid relegation.

However, in May he received a warning from Lambert after he was quoted in national newspapers suggesting he would seek a transfer.

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