After an impressive season in the Premier League which saw him score 19 league goals in 34 appearances, Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke seems intent on leaving the club this summer and has not travelled to Germany with the squad as they begin their pre-season tour.
| Christian Benteke's Next Club
|Odds from Paddy Power
Although a club statement clearly indicated that the 22-year-old Belgium international had been given extra time off which accounted for him missing the tour, his timely decision to hand in a transfer request has seen plenty of activity in the betting markets.
Tottenham are now expected to lead the chase for his signature priced at 8/11 (1.73) with Paddy Power after Andre Villas-Boas missed out on his first choice transfer target David Villa, who has sealed a move to Atletico Madrid, ending weeks of speculation about his future.
Villa's decision to snub the Premier League leaves Villas-Boas in a situation which he is quite familiar with since he took over at White Hart Lane, one that sees him well short of strikers as his club continue to chase Champions League football.
Chelsea are 5/2 (3.50) to bring Benteke to Stamford Bridge this summer, a price which is clearly influenced by the fact the London club could well miss out on Edison Cavani thanks to Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis who is standing firm on his €63 million valuation of the Uruguay international.
The club already have a Belgian starlet in their ranks in the form of Romelu Lukaku although the decision to retain his services could be seen as a negative for backers of Chelsea in this market. Would the Blues be prepared to meet Aston Villa's valuation when they already have Lukaku in the squad?
Arsenal have also been backed into 5/1 (6.0) although their chase of Gonzalo Higuain could realistically mean there is little chance of Arsene Wenger being in a position to make Aston Villa an acceptable offer and negotiate for his services.
Liverpool are priced at 17/2 (9.50) with Paddy Power but with the Luis Suarez transfer saga looking likely to be somewhat longer than many had anticipated it seems backing that move is unlikely to be good value.
A host of other big names are priced at 14/1 (15.0) by the same firm including Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid but the odds would seem to suggest Benteke is more likely to swap the West Midlands for a club in the capital over the coming weeks.