Aston Villa midfielder Leandro Bacuna has urged Christian Benteke to snub a chance to make a big money move in the summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old scored 12 goals in last 12 matches and played a key role in helping Tim Sherwood’s side avoid relegation to the Championship and also helping them reach the FA Cup final by defeating Liverpool in the last four of the competition.
The Belgium international’s superb form has alerted Premier League giants as Brendan Rodgers’ side and Manchester United are interested in landing the star striker. The Telegraph claims both Liverpool and the Red Devils are set for summer battle in signing the player, who is valued to be around £30m.
However, Bacuna has advised his teammate to reject a chance to leave Villa Park and continue at the club.
“We had a small conversation and I said ‘imagine you want to leave for a big club’. At Villa he’s the big man,” Bacuna said.
“Maybe if he goes somewhere else you are not going to turn into a big man. So it’s going to be his opinion. Yes (I am trying to persuade him to stay).
“When he was injured (with a ruptured Achilles last year) he went to Belgium. I kept a connection with him, to speak to him, I was worried about how this operation was going so we talked.”
“And when he came back he had a tough time, like with small pains, but when he got going he started to score goals.”
“Fabian Delph helped him as well, saying ‘keep moving, keep going’, anything to give him confidence and as you can see when he got confidence he was scoring again. Together you can have a positive thing, you can go to the next one, you can do anything you want,” he added.
Villa take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley at the end of this month and that could potentially be the last game for Benteke in Villa shirt. Liverpool are in need of a striker who can help them solve their goal scoring problems.
The Reds have been lacking goals this season, which saw them finish out of top four. Meanwhile, United have also struggled as their top scorer was Wayne Rooney, with 14 goals.
Louis van Gaal allowed Radamel Falcoa return to AS Monaco after a season-long loan. The Colombian international had a poor form with the Old Trafford club, which forced United to reject the opportunity to sign him on a permanent deal.
With Falcao’s exit, United will be looking to sign a new striker in the summer transfer window and they could challenge Liverpool for Benteke’s signature.