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Christian Benteke returns to training with Aston Villa


Serbia’s defender Neven Subotic (L) and Belgium’s forward Christian Benteke vie for the ball during the 2014 World Cup qualifying football match between Belgium and Serbia at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels on June 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Don’t look now but Christian Benteke is back in training with Aston Villa.

The wantaway striker has reported for training at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training facility despite his future at the club remaining in doubt.

But don’t get too excited, Villa fans. Bentekers isn’t changing his mind.

He’s simply ensuring his pocket’s stay fat after being threatened with a $30,000 (£20k) fine if he remained AWOL during his time in flux.

The Belgium striker put in a transfer request last week and is top target for Tottenham. Villa have resigned themselves to the fact that Benteke can leave the club but owner/chairman Randy Lerner won’t let him leave Aston Villa for a penny less than $38 million (£25m).

Despite Benteke’s transfer request, Villa manager Paul Lambert is still holding out hope that the player who netted 19 Premier League goals in his debut season will remain at the club for one more year:

While we’re hugely disappointed that Christian has put in a transfer request, it’s important that people appreciate we are trying to build something strong and vibrant here at the club, something this club demands and stands for, and we want Christian to be part of that.

You can find Mike on Twitter @mprindi