Brendan Rogers, Liverpool welcome Benteke signing
Brendan Rodgers has welcomed the imminent arrival of £32.5m ($50.6 million) signing Christian Benteke at Liverpool as the striker prepares to take his medical.
Liverpool agreed a deal to sign the striker from Aston Villa last week after meeting the release stipulated in the Belgian’s contract.
The finer terms of the deal are thought to have been negotiated over the weekend after discussions between Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre and Aston Villa counterpart Tom Fox, with the Reds believed to be paying £16 million ($25 million) up front with the rest in instalments.
Liverpool club doctor Andy Massey has flown back to England from the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East and will oversee Benteke’s medical at a facility in London.
Benteke’s medical could run over two days, and provided there are no issues, he is expected to become a Liverpool player in the next 48 hours in a deal which will see him become the club’s second most expensive signing ever.
News of Benteke’s imminent arrival has been welcomed by Reds boss Rodgers, who told the Liverpool Echo: "It was just clear we needed to score more goals.
"A few years ago we needed to improve our goal tally and we did that and it gave the team a little bit of profit. I feel it was the same this summer.
"We were down on our goals. Overall it is the balance we need to improve offensively and defensively and the players that will contribute to both."
Benteke, 24, will not fly out to link up with Liverpool on tour and is expected to join up with team-mates Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, who return to the club’s Melwood training base on Wednesday after their participation in the Copa America.
Rodgers will be acquiring a player who has a stunning record against Liverpool with Benteke scoring five times against them in their last six encounters.
Benteke, who has two years remaining on his Villa contract, has scored 49 goals in 101 appearances for the club since he joined from Genk in 2012.
Liverpool have already bought six new players, including England right-back Nathaniel Clyne at a cost of £12.5m ($19.5 million) , and Benteke’s arrival would push their summer spending to around £80m ($124.6 million).