26 Mar 2013 22:31

Champions fancy adding the big striker to their collection of ex-Villans - while Fiorentina picture him replacing Arsenal-target Jovetic

Chris cross: Benteke sale would infuriate Villa boss Lambert Chris cross: Benteke sale would infuriate Villa boss Lambert

Getty

Paul Lambert is adamant that Aston Villa must resist any Manchester City raid for Christian Benteke.

Big-spending City have snapped up Gareth Barry and James Milner from the Midlands outfit in previous summers.

Now the Premier League champions fancy striker Benteke, who has bagged 13 league goals in a stunning debut season in English football - although they face competition from Italy's Fiorentina.

Villa manager Lambert has told officials at the club, including owner Randy Lerner, that they simply must not sell the 22-year-old Belgium front-man.

Lambert wants to build a team at the Brummies and sees Benteke, bought last summer for £8million from Genk in his Belgian homeland, as a vital cog in that emerging side.

Two Aston Villa fans display a sign dedicated to Aston Villa's Christian Benteke Shooting star: Benteke is already a darling of the Villa faithful

PA

 

If Villa - one place above the bottom three going into the weekend's matches - are relegated, they cannot expect to keep him, but Lambert is confident of beating the drop.

Fiorentina view Benteke as the perfect replacement for Stevan Jovetic, the Montenegro international who is Arsenal's No1 striker target this summer.

Both of the Milan clubs and Juventus are also in for Jovetic, who is likely to be valued at around the £20m mark by the Florence club.

Filed under: Euro 2012

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