Benteke responds to speculation
Christian Benteke has addressed speculation linking him to what would have been a sensational return to Aston Villa.
The Belgian became a success at Villa Park under Paul Lambert after signing in the summer of 2012, but he would have moved to Liverpool to the tune of £ 32.5 million in 2015 after his objectives had allowed Villa to survive their relegation battle under Tim Sherwood.
The ride north to Anfield didn’t work, and it made its way to the capital and Crystal Palace, where it has been since.
After struggling for goals under Roy Hodgson, the imposing forward Benteke was linked to a sensational return to Villa in the January transfer window.
Dean Smith had just lost sniper Wesley Moraes to a late season injury, and Villa was looking for reinforcements.
Hodgson, however, insisted that Benteke was not going anywhere and he stayed at Selhurst Park.
“I take the interest of these two clubs as recognition,” said Benteke, via Sport Witness. “Here, people are decent: they know that you are a good player, that you can bring something more.
“Everyone goes through complicated moments without compromising their value.
“In England, all the parameters are taken into account, which exceeds the number of goals scored. The number of air duels won is where I’m good enough.
“The pressure I exerted on the defense of the opposition, playing with my back to the goal, the professionalism of the player, how he fits into a system: all of this comes into play, based on the principle that quality of a player does not evaporate. “
On ties with Villa, as well as with Tottenham Hotspur, Benteke felt that he did not need to leave south-east London.
He added, “Because I needed stability, especially with children. In addition, I am really happy at Crystal Palace. ”
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Richards reveals the breakup
Former Aston Villa captain Micah Richards recalled the remarkable story of his suspension for putting Federico Fernandez in the head and hitting him.
Richards, who retired from football at the age of 31 due to knee injuries, has never been kicked out in his Premier League or international career.
However, the ex-Villa man was banned by the FA for a remarkable incident after a defeat in Swansea City, where Richards admitted he had “seen red”.
“I was at Aston Villa, I have never had a red card in my career,” Micah Richards told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“There was an incident with Fernandez at Swansea, he is in Newcastle now. He came for a corner, the goalkeeper came out, I gave him a little help and Fernandez pushed me and gave me a whim!
“I said to him: ‘OK, no worries, I’m not going to do anything on the ground, wait until we get to the tunnel’, and he sort of just laughed.
“At that time, we had lost the match, Swansea beat us and I was raging. We come to the tunnel and he comes, probably to apologize, but I saw red.
“I think it was the BBC actually, they saw the tunnel rubbing and it was me with Fernandez, I had it in my head and I just started hitting it”
Gollini’s cryptic message
Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has been linked to a surprise return to Villa Park.
Gollini, now number one at Atalanta in Serie A, is said to be the target of Villa and Premier League rival Tottenham Hotspur.
Dean Smith already has three senior goalkeepers at his disposal – and that doesn’t include the Pepe Reina lane – but Football Italia reports that Villa is interested in Gollini.
The 25-year-old joined Villa in 2016, but resigned after six months to return to Italy, originally loaned to Atalanta before the deal became permanent in 2018.
He was one of the pillars of Atalanta in Serie A and the Champions League, and they are still fighting on both fronts.
Read what Gollini has to say HERE
United could give Villa a boost
Manchester United is re-evaluating its transfer plans with the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic affecting their budget, according to reports.
United has been linked to a number of players this year, including Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish, who is said to be at the top of their transfer wish list.
With Grealish, Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham have all been linked to a move to Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eager to build a team capable of competing for the Premier League.
Solskjaer himself admitted that United hoped to “exploit” the unprecedented transfer market situation, with football being suspended indefinitely and a number of clubs are expected to lose millions of revenues.
However, a Guardian report claimed that the Red Devils were forced to rethink their transfer, and that they now accept that their budget will not stretch for all of their goals.