Aston Villa to capture Callum Wilson if Christian Benteke says goodbye?
Aston Villa (7/2 with Coral to be relegated from the Premier League in 2015/16) coach to Tim Sherwood has already vowed to refresh the ranks at Villa Park following his side’s spectacular FA Cup final collapse, and Bournemouth hitman Callum Wilson could be one of his first acquisitions.
The Villans, who look set to lose top scorer Christian Benteke amid rumoured interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham, are expected to offer their star striker an improved deal to stave of suitors, but appear to have a back-up plan in rampant Wilson.
Speaking recently on Benteke’s future, Sherwood said: “I’m not sure what his plans are. He didn’t tell me either way. He needs to sign a new contract. We need to offer him a new contract, which the club are prepared to do, and he needs to sign it. When he does, we know he’s not going anywhere.”
Despite that fighting talk, Belgium international Benteke, who grabbed 13 goals to help Villa escape relegation, looks bound to join one of the Premier League big-guns this summer if his £32.5m release clause is triggered.
The Villans were previously linked with out-of-favour Tottenham forward Emmanuel Adebayor, who thrived when he was restored to the White Hart Lane fold under former Spurs coach Sherwood, but now the ambitious coach appears to have turned his attention from the experienced attacker back to a younger, hungrier option in Wilson.
Coventry-born Wilson has been rampant this season, and Villa may now rue apparently balking at Bournemouth’s mooted £7m asking price back in the Winter window, as the 23-year-old sharpshooter continued to play a crucial role in the Cherries’ success.
A return to the Midlands could now beckon for the youngster, who fired Eddie Howe’s side to glory, notching 23 goals across all competitions, and the striker now looks an excellent value addition for the rumoured £3m that the Cherries are said to have forked out to snare him from hometown club Coventry City.
With Wilson now believed to be valued at around £12m by Championship winners the Cherries, Sherwood would still have plenty of spare change to spend from any Benteke sale, though it would surely be a tough task to prise the poacher away from Dean Court now the club can offer Premier League football.
Bournemouth (6/5 to be relegated in 2015/16) have already moved quickly to snap-up Chelsea winger Christian Atsu on loan plus goalkeeping duo Artur Boruc and Adam Federici on permanent deals, but are also apparently keen on keeping hold of their core of British stars. Should Wilson impress wherever he plays in the Premier League next term, he could follow in the footsteps of Charlie Austin, who earned his first England call-up after graduating from the Championship to the top tier with QPR.