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After notching 23 goals in his debut season, the striker's representative is keen to secure a pay rise for his client with a number of clubs expressing an interest

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke's performances for this season warrant an improved contract at Villa Park, according to his agent.

The 22-year-old has notched 23 goals in his debut season in the Premier League, with Dortmund's chief transfer negotiator Michael Zorc in attendance against Chelsea thought to be scouting potential replacements from Robert Lewandowski.

Villa head coach Paul Lambert has hinted at a new deal for the Belgium international after his fine form this term, and Benteke's agent, Eris Kismet, is keen to open discussions as soon as possible.

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"Now that Villa's future is secure I hope we can have discussions by the end of this week. If not, then next week," Kismet told reporters.

"We did the transfer deal last summer with Aston Villa with a lot of respect. We hope that discussions on a new contract will be done in the same way.

"Villa have said they want to speak for several weeks, but it has been difficult because of the situation in the Premier League. Now they are safe the situation will change."

Benteke is thought to be earning around £20,000 a week, considerably less than Villa's top earners Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Darren Bent, whose wages are around £60,000, and Kismet says a number of interested parties are keen on landing his client's signature.

He continued: "A lot of scouts from many teams have an interest in Christian. Now Villa's future in the Premier League is decided we will know more.

"It is natural for many teams to show an interest when Christian has had such a good season."

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