Tottenham striker target hands in transfer request

Chris Brunskill

All aboard the Christian Benteke transfer train.

Christian Benteke isn't joking about wanting the hell out of Aston Villa. The Belgian striker has handed in a transfer request and did not travel with the team on the club's preseason tour of Germany, which means everyone and their mother will not bid on the want-away striker. Tottenham Hotspur is one of everyone, and also your mother.

The Benteke rumors have been running wild all summer and it seemed crazy that anyone would be able to buy him at a reasonable price. After all, Premier League clubs don't sell good 22-year-old strikers a year after they bought him for a fair price. Villa had no reason to sell so unless someone is going to offer them an absurd sum of money, Benteke was staying put.

But now Villa have a reason -- he doesn't want to be there and is willing to stay away from the team to make the move happen.

All of a sudden, Benteke is a real, attainable player at a reasonable price. Maybe.

While Villa may be willing to take fair value for Benteke now that he desperately wants a way, the market could push the price higher than Spurs would or should spend on the Belgian. Other teams are certainly going to be involved and £18 million could quickly become £20 million, then £25 million. At that point, is he really worth it anymore?

And that assumes Aston Villa will sell. They may not put any stock in the striker's request. After all, if you are Benteke, how long are you really going to sit out a year out from the World Cup? Villa could simply play a game of chicken and, frankly, they would probably win.

Tottenham are still desperate for a striker, and with rumors of Jermain Defoe's possible departure, that desperation could reach an all-time high. Benteke would certainly be a nice addition. He's big and strong, his finishing has gotten better and if he can learn how to bring his teammat but there is a point when it becomes ridiculous. The 22-year-old's transfer request may bring his price into a place where it makes sense for Tottenham to buy, but it could also push it way above it.

At the very least, things are interesting. Luckily, things at White Hart Lane aren't as interesting now as they are at Villa Park. Poor Villa.

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