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Lambert: Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea target will leave Villa


Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke will leave the club, former Villa manager Paul Lambert and agent Eris Kismet said.

The Belgium international has been linked with a move to Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea and is determined to leave Villa Park to enjoy Champions League or Europa League football, Sky Sport reports.

And according to Lambert, this summer is the perfect time for the 24-year-old to join a top club in England.

"It looks like if he is going to go, it will be this year," Lambert said during the Tesco Bank Football Challenge at Hampden Park.

"But I had it every year I was there that he probably wanted to go, because he was playing that well, you can't stop teams coming in with that level of money.

"It depends how Aston Villa want to view it now. If Christian goes maybe they will get money to buy someone. But as a goalscorer and a player, he's top class.

"I saw it a few years ago. In his first year at Villa he was only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi in terms of goalscoring ratio, which was an incredible achievement.

"He's certainly good enough. He's only 24, he's got years ahead of him. Okay he didn't have a good game on Saturday but he is a top, top player."

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Christian Benteke, Paul Lambert