Liverpool confirm Benteke signing
Published 22/07/2015 | 04:37
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has finally captured his number one summer transfer target after striker Christian Benteke completed his £32.5million transfer from Aston Villa.
The Belgium international becomes the seventh new arrival at Anfield since the end of last season but he was always the priority for the Reds boss.
Benteke is understood to have signed a five-year contract after undergoing a two-part medical in London earlier this week before travelling to Merseyside on Wednesday to complete the paperwork on the deal, which will see Liverpool pay £16million up front with the remainder of the fee payable over the course of his contract.
Rodgers' pursuit of the 24-year-old has been a lengthy one as the club were initially not prepared to meet the striker's buy-out clause, but following the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City in £49million deal last week there was a change of heart.
"I'm very happy to be here and I would like to thank the owners, Ian (Ayre, chief executive who pushed the deal through) and of course the manager for their massive effort to bring me here," the striker told liverpoolfc.com
"I think it was the right club for me because I had a good chat with the manager and I wanted to be part of his project.
"I know Liverpool is a big story. They've won league titles and the Champions League five times and of course the UEFA Cup and a lot of trophies. I know it's a big club.
"I'm very happy to be part of the Liverpool family now and I will do everything to make them happy and work hard for them and my team-mates."
Benteke will not meet most of his new team-mates until they return after Friday's match against a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.
He already knows a couple of them - goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi - from the national team and believes the summer recruitment has given the Reds a chance of winning silverware.
"I think there are quality players, a lot of good players with big names of course," he added.
"I'm happy to be part of this team and will (try) to help this team reach its goals.
"I want to be the best and I want to reach the best of myself.
"I came here to win trophies. I came here to reach some great goals with the team."