Liverpool meet Christian Benteke’s £32.5 million release clause

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Liverpool’s pursuit of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke is set to come to a conclusion, with reports claiming the Reds have met his release clause.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 19, 2015: Aston Villa's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the first equalising goal against Liverpool during the FA Cup Semi-Final match at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have agreed to pay Christian Benteke’s £32.5 million release clause, with the Aston Villa striker now set to make the move to Merseyside.

That is according to widespread reports on Thursday.

James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo writes: “The Reds have decided to trigger the release clause in the Belgium international’s contract and he’s set to become the second most expensive signing in the club’s history.

“Liverpool have been chasing Benteke all summer but had previously been unwilling to pay the asking price.

“With Villa desperate to keep hold of Benteke and unwilling to negotiate on the price, a stand-off had developed in recent weeks but the impasse has now been broken by the Reds.”

Benteke has been Liverpool’s priority target throughout the summer so far, with Brendan Rodgers desperate to add a proven goalscorer to his attacking ranks.

Pearce continues: “Rodgers is a big admirer of Benteke and had placed him at the top of his summer wish-list as he looked to bolster the club’s firepower.

“Benteke, who has two years remaining on his Villa contract, has his heart set on a move to Anfield and once the £32.5million offer is received by the Midlanders he will be free to negotiate personal terms and undergo a medical.”

Liverpool’s position was strengthened after the £49 million sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City.

After the signing of Benteke, Rodgers will turn his attention to the departures of surplus strikers Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli, with Rickie Lambert’s future also in doubt.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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