Christian Benteke: Liverpool bid £32.5m for Aston Villa striker
Liverpool have met a £32.5m release clause for Aston Villa's Belgium striker Christian Benteke, triggering a potential transfer.
The 24-year-old scored 12 goals in 12 games in the 2014-15 season to help keep Villa in the Premier League.
The Reds have bid for the player - and met the asking price - after receiving funds from the £49m sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City.
Benteke still has two years left on his contract at Villa.
England striker Daniel Sturridge made only 18 appearances for Liverpool last season because of a succession of injuries and is out until September with a hip problem.
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is believed to want cover as he seeks to re-establish his team in the Champions League, having finished sixth in the league last season.
Chief executive Ian Ayre is with Rodgers and his squad for the second leg of their pre-season tour in Brisbane, Australia, but is handling negotiations with Villa over the details of the deal.
It is understood personal terms between Benteke and Liverpool are a formality, although the Anfield club do not yet have permission to do the medical.
Rodgers said on Thursday that despite the departure of England forward Sterling, 20, Liverpool could still attract top players.
"Players are always going to want to come to Liverpool, it's such an iconic club, it's a great club," he said.
"The challenge for us is to get back in among the top teams, hopefully that continues to attract players."
Benteke joined Aston Villa from Genk in August 2012 for £7m and has scored 49 goals in 101 appearances.
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