• Premier League

Helenius hopes for Benteke Villa stay

ESPN staff
July 15, 2013
Christian Benteke impressed in his debut season for Aston Villa © PA Photos

New Aston Villa striker Nicklas Helenius says he would like striker Christian Benteke to stay at the club - even though the Belgian's departure would boost his prospects of a place in the side.

Denmark international Helenius has made an immediate impression at Villa Park, scoring his second pre-season goal in three games in a friendly against German club Bochum.

But he said he would have preferred the chance to work alongside Benteke, who has not been included in the German tour squad after submitting a transfer request.

"It is down to the club and player how they want to handle the situation," Helenius, signed from Aalborg for a reported £1.2 million, told the Birmingham Mail.

"It is not something that I take much joy from, even though it improves my chances. We need the strongest possible squad for the upcoming season, and I was looking forward to being in the same side as Christian Benteke.

"In that respect, it is sad what is happening. He was definitely one of the players that I was looking forward to observing and learning from."

Villa are thought to be holding out for around £25m for Benteke. Tottenham believe they are best placed to sign him, and club sources have told ESPN they are considering a bid that would test Villa's resolve.

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