Aston Villa's Christian Benteke hands in transfer request

Benteke hands in transfer request
© PA Photos
Aston Villa confirm that striker Christian Benteke has handed in a transfer request.

Aston Villa have confirmed that striker Christian Benteke has handed in a transfer request.

Benteke has not travelled with the rest of the Villa squad on their pre-season tour of Germany amid reported interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

Villa have reluctantly agreed to listen to appropriate offers for the striker, but still expect him to be at the club for the upcoming season.

"In response to reports that Christian Benteke has not travelled to Germany with the club and has made a transfer request, we can confirm that both are accurate," read a club statement.

"For clarity's sake, however, he had already been given extra time off until July 18 and 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.

"Having received his transfer request, we have also informed him that should we receive an offer within an appropriate timeframe during pre-season which meets our valuation we would act upon it. But he will remain a Villa player should this not happen."

Villa manager Paul Lambert has expressed his disappointment in Benteke's decision, but is still hopeful that the 22-year-old will be part of his future plans.

"While we're hugely disappointed that Christian has put in a transfer request, 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," said Lambert.

Benteke was a key figure for Villa last season, scoring 19 goals in the Premier League to help Lambert's side retain their top-flight status.

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