Manchester United to make big-money move for Christian Benteke
Published 12/07/2015 | 11:49
Manchester United are lining up a big-money move for Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, according to the Sun.
After their double capture of Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger on Saturday, Louis van Gaal is ready to keep splashing the cash with further recruitments in the coming weeks.
With Robin van Persie nearing the exit door to join Fenerbahce, Van Gaal needs to strengthen in attack and has made Benteke his top target.
The Villa forward has also been linked with Liverpool this summer, but United are frontrunners to sign him given they can offer him the chance to play Champions League football.
Benteke has a £32m clause in his current contract with Villa, a price, according to the Sun, United would be comfortable to match.
The Belgian international has made it clear he sees his future away from Villa Park but manager Tim Sherwood is desperate to hold on to him.
The player is currently on tour with Villa in America but United are considering making an offer for him this week ahead of their own pre-season tour of the States.
United, meanwhile, want Sergio Ramos AND Keylor Navas in exchange for goalkeeper David de Gea.
The Star report that United's chief executive Ed Woodward is frustrated by De Gea's unwillingness to sign a fresh deal at Old Trafford, that he will not allow the Spaniard to leave easily.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Real Madrid are not interested in the two for one swap deal.
Navas has been targeted as an ideal replacement for De Gea and was La Liga's goalkeeper of the year while playing for Levante two seasons ago.
United's continued interest in Ramos, meanwhile, has been well documented. The defender remains at loggerheads with the Spanish giants over a fresh deal with tensions between the Spain international and club president Florentino Perez reaching boiling point.
Ramos is said to be keen on a move to Old Trafford while Navas could rival Victor Valdes to be first choice at United.
Bayern Munich have dismissed the possibility of Thomas Muller following Schweinsteiger in agreeing a switch to the Premier League and joining United.
United are admirers of the German international but Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said there was no prospect of a transfer.
"Bastian's was a very special situation," he said. "I can reassure all the fans -- we will not be selling another player to Manchester United.
"We have never received an offer for Thomas Muller."
Rummenigge also talked about the decision to allow Schweinsteiger to leave having spent nearly the whole of his career with the club.
"I won't hide the fact that I'm wistful," he said. "I regret it. We tried to convince him to stay with Bayern, but I can also understand a player seeking to gain new experience at the end of his career.
"It will be an interesting new challenge for Bastian, giving him renewed power. It's a decision that will be beneficial to him in his life. I'm convinced he'll play well there. The Germany squad will profit from that too."