Aston Villa play hardball with Liverpool over Christian Benteke buyout

• Villa insist Liverpool should pay £32.5m buyout clause in contract
• Tim Sherwood: ‘We don’t want to sell him. We don’t want the £32m’

Liverpool are set to step up their pursuit of Christian Benteke in the wake of Raheem Sterling’s departure to Manchester City but Aston Villa remain adamant that the Belgium international will not be allowed to leave unless the £32.5m buyout clause in his contract is met.

Talks will take place between Liverpool and Villa over the coming days now that the Sterling saga is over, with Benteke seen as the proven Premier League goalscorer that Brendan Rodgers needs to give his team the cutting edge that was so badly missing last season.

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Sport | The Guardian