Aston Villa not in contract talks with Benteke yet, says Lambert

The Scot says he is focusing on the Premier League and his side's battle against relegation currently, but will discuss the striker's future at the end of the season
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says the club are not in contract talks with striker Christian Benteke but that he expects to discuss the Belgian’s future in the summer.

The 22-year-old arrived at Villa Park in August from Genk and has gone on to become a huge hit, scoring 19 goals so far in his debut season in the Premier League.

3/1 Benteke to start, score and Aston Villa to beat Fulham is 3/1 with William Hill
Benteke’s exploits have seen speculation surrounding his future increase but Lambert has played down reports he has been offered a new contract at Villa Park.

"I think the most important thing is the league until the end of the season, I heard somebody say he's been promised a new contract but I can't have been a part of those conversation," he told reporters.

"I speak to him all the time, not about contracts, I just tell him to keep it going really. And he's never once mentioned anything to me about contracts.

"He's got a contract here anyway as it stands, but I think it's important we stay in this league and do as well as we've been doing.

"As I said before I've never had one conversation with him regarding contracts or anything like that, he's not that type of lad. I'm sure come the end of the season we'll sit down and it'll be just Chris and a few others."

Lambert also admitted he was not expecting Benteke to have quite the impact he has had at Aston Villa and was full of praise for the striker.

"Nobody visualised he was going to do what he has when he first came in, but the big guy’s been fantastic,” he added.

"He's the one that does it, he's the one that plays the game, he's the one that goes out there every week and he's been a credit to himself and to the football team - that's the main thing.

"I'd like to see him continue doing what he's been doing and as for the rest we'll see what happens."