Benteke looks off, silly season well and truly open and a challenge for Tim

I don't know with any certainty what is going to happen with Benteke but there was talk of a release clause in his new contract when he signed it in 2013 and reports at the weekend suggested there was one for around £32mn - so if true, he has a way out if he wants to take it.

And listening to him on Sky Sports earlier you just have the feeling that he wants to leave. To top it all off, someone rang his agent the other day, put it on speaker phone and we were as good as told that he wanted out, to play football on the bigger stage. Me, I think he's going to Chelsea, but he's going there as cover for Costa.


But that's just my view. Benteke could come back and he could sign a new contract where we pay him £150k a week, because the new owner is a multi billionaire playboy that has more money than sense who has nothing better to do than dig around under his sofa for what Benteke wants. Please, let it be the playboy figure and not the consortium who have literally put their hands down every single couch they've sat on in the last year to raise the money.

If it's a consortium, they'll say positive things, but here me now; it will not be good for Aston Villa, it will only be good for the members of the consortium, despite everything they say. I'm not going to write this again, I'm just going to link to this page for that bit above in bold.

Challenging time for Tim

And with the start of silly season is now the start of the first challenge for Tim and that's to keep hold of a player or two and bring in the right ones to make us stronger. If talk is to be believed and sometimes you have to believe the talk, Tom Cleverley has opened negotiations with Everton. This doesn't mean he is going to sign for them, it means he's getting a clear idea of his worth.

He'll probably want to play for Everton as it's closer to home and they play a better style of football (at the moment) but I think and I don't mean this in a bad way, but if we offer enough money we can convince him to stay. But do we want a player on that basis? It makes you think.

And this is why it's going to be a tough time for Tim Sherwood. If he can't convince certain players to stay and he starts to bring in players that are maybe from his youth team days (I've read the excuses already about young English talent), then it could be that we take a step forward but two back. Lambert had the same philosophy about younger players for a while and look where it left us.

This is the first transfer window for Tim Sherwood and he's got to make it count. Spurs didn't think him worthy of one and fired him. I hope he makes a good first impression with this one. But I suspect that will depend on the new playboy owner or the lying say anything to get us to buy merchandise and season tickets consortium.

I have a feeling we will learn very soon if something is happening ... or not. I believe Tim Sherwood wants it sorted too.