Manchester United are ready to beat their big rivals Liverpool to the signing of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa in this transfer window.
Benteke to Liverpool has been one of the big transfer sagas of the summer, and now it looks like it might be a transfer triangle with Manchester United reportedly joining in.
Louis Van Gaal undoubtedly needs a new striker after deciding against making the loan move for Radamel Falcao permanent and letting Robin Van Persie leave for Fenerbahce.
The likes of Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain, Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski have been linked with moves to Old Trafford, but it looks like Manchester United might just look to the Midlands to complete their striker signing for the summer.
Benteke is reportedly looking for a move out of Aston Villa after having his head turned by interest from Liverpool.
However, a move to Anfield has not gone through as Liverpool are reluctant to match the striker's buyout clause of £32.5million. Aston Villa, though, have made it clear the only way Benteke will leave the club is if a team trigger the release clause.
Manchester United have already been gung-ho in the transfer market this season, completing quick deals for Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, and now it looks like Benteke could be the next on the list.
According to the Metro, who cite a report in The Sun, Manchester United have already agreed a deal with Aston Villa for the striker, which can only mean that Ed Woodward has made a bid of £32.5m.
However, the Daily Mail claim Manchester United have only shown an interest in Benteke so far, with no firm bid made.
Either way, you feel if United decide to pull the trigger and go for Benteke, they will win the race over Liverpool, as the Manchester side can offer the Belgium international Champions League football and higher wages.
With Wayne Rooney in the lineup, however, and Van Gaal probably likely to settle on a one-striker formation – you never know with the Dutchman, though -- Benteke might wonder if he will be the first choice at Old Trafford.
The Manchester United manager has the option of playing Rooney in the No.10 role, with a bigger, physical player as the sole striker, and much will depend on how those discussions go if the club do firm up their interest.
Liverpool, as long as Daniel Sturridge remains on the sidelines, will be able to offer Benteke a near-guaranteed place in the playing XI, but if that will be enough or not remains to be seen, if Manchester United do, indeed, compete with their rivals for the Aston Villa forward's signature.