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Aston Villa not interested in Younes Belhanda

Aston Villa are not interested in Younes Belhanda and prepared today to re-enter contract talks with Christian Benteke.


Morocco international Belhanda is not on Paul Lambert's wishlist and Villa have not bid, despite Montpellier's claims.

La Paillade president Louis Nicollin said last week Villa had made an offer for the 23-year-old and the midfielder went as far as issuing a come and get me plea.

Belhanda said: "I am definitely aware that there are five clubs with serious interest in me. The president told me how much I will cost for any team that wants me.

"I have told everyone that England will be my first choice. Aston Villa is a great club with a big history playing in the best league in the world, so let's see what will happen."

Nicollin claimed Villa, both Milan clubs and Galatasaray all wanted Belhanda but the Express & Star understands £12million-rated playmaker was never discussed by the claret and blues.

The club are keen on doing early business and have already agreed a £2.5million deal to sign Aleksandar Tonev from Polish club Lech Poznan.

The three-year deal will be rubberstamped this week once the final paperwork is completed after the Bulgaria star passed a medical and agreed terms on Friday.

Lambert wants to bring in players ahead of the pre-season trip to Germany on July 7 and Villa are ready to move but are also aware they are under no pressure to rush deals through.

And they are ready to continue contract talks with Benteke this week in a bid to keep the striker.

Villa held productive discussions at the end of the season but they were put on hold while Benteke was on international duty with Belgium.

He helped them to a 2-1 win over Serbia on Friday which put Belgium on the brink of qualifying for next year's World Cup.

Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, ­Fiorentina and Arsenal are monitoring the situation, with Atletico searching for a replacement for £51million Radamel Falcao who has joined Monaco.

But Villa are confident of keeping the in-demand Benteke who hit 23 goals after a £7million move from Genk last summer.

The 22-year-old is happy at Villa with the club ready to offer a bumper new deal to boost his £20,000-a-week wages.

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