Benteke wants to stay - Sherwood
Published 23/05/2015 | 13:26
Tim Sherwood is "convinced" star striker Christian Benteke wants to stay at Aston Villa next season.
Speculation over Benteke's future remains despite his agent recently pledging his commitment to the club.
The Belgian forward tried to leave two summers ago, when he was linked with a host of top clubs, before changing his mind and staying in the midlands.
After scoring 15 goals this campaign thanks to a late-season surge, those big name sides are again being strongly linked with a move for the powerful striker, but manager Sherwood is hopeful he will stay put.
"Christian is only a young man but he's very mature in the way he behaves," he said. "I think he's handled the situation well.
"I have no reason to believe he wants to seek employment elsewhere. He seems to be very happy here and this morning, at training, he was smiling.
"He knows there are big games coming up in Sunday and the cup final and I think he wants to be at this football club. I'm convinced of that."
Sherwood added: "I'd believe him if he told me he wanted to be at this club next season but he hasn't told me because I haven't actually asked him the question."
The former Tottenham boss has promised he will field a full-strength side for Sunday's Barclays Premier League finale against relegated Burnley, despite his own team having already beaten the drop and with the FA Cup final against Arsenal to consider six days later.
"We want to go and win," he said. "We owe it to our fans, who have stuck with us under difficult circumstances and been fantastic and helped pull us over the line.
"So we owe it to them to go and put in a performance on Sunday, send them home happy and give them some optimism to want to come back here next season.
"It's a full house, we want to put in a good performance but there'll be no resting of players. We're looking to go out with a win."