Christian Benteke
Aston Villa striker Benteke has been in excellent form of lateReuters

Chelsea are reportedly planning to outbid Liverpool and Manchester United for the signature of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke this summer.

The 24-year-old, who joined Villa from Belgian side Genk for £7 million in the summer of 2012, became an instant hit in the English Premier League, scoring 19 goals from 34 appearances in his debut season at Villa Park.

He was expected to leave Aston Villa after the end of the 2012/13 season, with the striker submitting a formal transfer request to the club. However, he eventually changed his mind and ended up signing a brand new four-year deal at Villa Park.

He started off the 2013/14 season strongly, scoring a brace to help his side beat Arsenal 3-1 on the opening day. He continued his excellent goalscoring form until he picked up a hip injury (during a game against Norwich City in September 2013) that kept him out of action for almost six weeks.

After his return from injury, the striker's excellent goal scoring form saw a visible drop, and after struggling for a few months, Benteke was ruled out for six months after he sustained a rupture on his achilles tendon while training in April 2014.

The Belgian was not impressive at the beginning of 2014/15 season following his return in November, but the striker seems to have rediscovered his earlier form following the sacking of manager Paul Lambert and the appointment of Tim Sherwood in February.

Benteke has scored 11 goals in the last 10 Premier League fixtures to help Aston Villa climb out of the relation zone to 14th in the table. The Belgian also scored against Liverpool in the FA Cup to help his side reach the final of the competition for the first time in 15 years.

His excellent performances of late have reportedly attracted the attention of Manchester United and Liverpool, who are both in the hunt for a new striker this season.

And, according to the Metro, Chelsea have also reportedly joined the race to land the Belgian this summer, with manager Jose Mourinho hunting for a new striker to replace the ageing Didier Drogba.

Although Benteke may be tempted to join Chelsea and play alongside his international teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard, he will be considering the fact that he may not get enough first-team football at Stamford Bridge due to the Blues already having the likes of Diego Costa and Loic Remy amongst their ranks.