LONDON, May 29- Tim Sherwood admits Aston Villa can’t stop Christian Benteke leaving because the Belgium striker has a buy-out clause in his contract.
Benteke has been strongly linked with a transfer to Liverpool and Villa manager Sherwood confirmed for the first time on Thursday that he has a substantial release clause in his contract which would trigger a move if met.
The 24-year-old has scored 12 goals in his last 12 games ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final with Arsenal after regaining form and fitness under Sherwood.
He signed a four-year deal in 2013, after initially handing in a transfer request, and Sherwood admitted they face losing Benteke if the clause is met, although he believes his star striker should stay until after next year’s European Championship.
“There’s a buy-out clause in his contract so it will be impossible for us to stop him if he wants to go,” Sherwood told reporters.
“Everyone has it. Most players would have it when they sign new contracts. I don’t know what the figure is but I believe it will be quite substantial.
“He’s made no indication that he wants to leave. I’ve not had a conversation with him. I’ve told you my view on it, I don’t think he should be moving clubs before a European Championship.
“By playing for Aston Villa it hasn’t hindered him being the first choice at Belgium.”