Benteke in talks over new Aston Villa deal, reveals Lambert

The striker still has three years left to run on his current deal, but his performances this season have earned him admirers and the club are hoping to ward off interested suitors
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has revealed that discussions are underway with Christian Benteke over extending the striker's contract.

The Belgian still has three years to run on his current deal but after scoring 23 goals in his debut season at Villa Park, the Villans boss is keen to tie the youngster down with a number of clubs reportedly expressing an interest.

Benteke's agent recently claimed that Dortmund have been to scout his client, but Lambert is hoping to keep his youthful squad together after significant improvements late in the season.

4/1 Christian Benteke is 4/1 with BetVictor to join Tottenham during the summer
"We have been speaking for the last few weeks there so we will see what happens," Lambert said.

"I think it’s important we keep the nucleus of lads we have here and add to that. It’s not just about one individual. Christian, since the turn of the year, is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in goalscoring.

"He has been fantastic in the way he has been performing, but every one of them deserves praise for what they have done."

There will also be talks with striker Darren Bent, who started and scored in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Wigan.

Villa's record signing has made just eight league starts this term, but Lambert was non-committal over his long-term future.

He added: "I’ll be sitting down with everybody and we will speak then about what is going to happen and we will keep trying to move the club forward."