Thursday, July 23

Liverpool complete £32.5m signing of Christian Benteke

Brendan Rodgers has finally captured his No1 summer transfer target after Christian Benteke completed his £32.5m transfer to Liverpool from Aston Villa.

The Belgium international becomes the seventh new arrival at Anfield since the end of last season. Benteke is understood to have signed a five-year contract, with Liverpool paying £16m up front and 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 after the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City in a £49m 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] and of course the manager for their massive effort to bring me here,” the striker told Liverpool’s website. “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.”

The Guardian UK

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