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Fabian Delph admits Benteke exit would hit Aston Villa hard

Captain hopes player will remain at club but says he won’t dissuade him from moving on

Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox has confirmed Christian Benteke will be offered a new contract this summer to try to stave off interested clubs. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA WireAston Villa chief executive Tom Fox has confirmed Christian Benteke will be offered a new contract this summer to try to stave off interested clubs.

The Aston Villa captain, Fabian Delph, hopes Christian Benteke will remain at the club next season but has admitted he would never attempt to dissuade a team-mate from moving on “if they have a chance to better themselves”.

Benteke’s revival since Tim Sherwood was appointed manager in February was key to Villa’s Premier League survival and the club indicating they will offer the Belgium forward a new contract this summer.

His current deal includes a release clause set at £32.5 million (€45m) and Liverpool are understood to be interested in securing the striker with Tottenham Hotspur also monitoring his situation.

Asked about the potential departure of a player who scored 12 goals in his last 13 appearances for Villa, Delph said: “It would have a big effect. He is a great player, world-class in my opinion, and a good lad to have around as well. It would be a big loss because he scores a lot of goals. But I wouldn’t try to convince anybody to stay. Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions. If they have a chance to move on and better themselves, I can’t tell them not to do that. If they want to commit themselves to the club and stay, then happy days, but it is down to that individual.”

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