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Coral’s rumour reel: dangerman Benteke to set off domino effect

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke’s transfer saga could finally be coming to a close, with an agreement for the big Belgian to join Liverpool (9/4 with Coral for a top four finish) reportedly reached. However, the marksman’s long-mooted move could be about to trigger a chain reaction…

Should Tottenham miss out on Benteke, Mauricio Pochettino is tipped to turn his attention to West Bromwich Albion attacker Saido Berahino, with Albion in-turn targeting out-of-favour Liverpool forward Rickie Lambert to replace the England Under-21 star.

Soccer - Saido Berahino Filer

With striking space at a premium at Anfield should Benteke arrive, Fabio Borini is another who could be sacrificed, though the Italy international is expected to face a tough choice between returning to his homeland or opting for an adventure in Spain with David Moyes’ Real Sociedad side.

As for Villa, Tim Sherwood is rumoured to be ready to splash some of Benteke’s £32.5m fee on one of Charlie Austin from relegated QPR, or promoted Bournemouth poacher Callum Wilson, who could prove to be the cheaper option at around £7m.

In more striker gossip, Arsenal could make a surprise approach for Manchester City hitman Edin Dzeko, with the Premier League-proven predator’s mooted transfer to Italian giants Roma seemingly stalled. The Gunners may, however, find the Giallorossi blocking their path to Greek defender Kostas Manolas, as the Serie A side are supposedly refusing to sell.

Elsewhere in London, West Ham United are expected to challenge Spurs (6/1 for a top four finish) for wantaway Everton winger Kevin Mirallas. As the Belgium international has around one-year left on his current Toffees deal, the Hammers could table a £6m bid to push ahead of Tottenham in the queue for his signature.

Soccer - Pre-season Friendly - Swindon Town v Everton - The County Ground

Crystal Palace are also said to be chasing a rival’s star player, and are believed to be ready to offer Swansea City £10m to tempt the Welsh club into selling skipper and centre half Ashley Williams.

Williams’ Wales teammate Gareth Bale is also back in the headlines, with free-spending Manchester United rumoured to be about to return to their interest in the £95m rated Real Madrid winger, as Red Devils coach Louis van Gaal recently spoke of a “surprise” signing.