Liverpool have completed the £32.5 million signing of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa. it is that the Belgium international striker has signed a five-year contract with the club, which will see Liverpool pay £16 million up front with the remainder of the fee payable over the course of his contract.
ESPN reports that the structure for payments was then agreed last weekend, allowing the Reds to enter talks with the 24-year-old over personal terms.
Manager Brendan Rodgers is a long-time admirer of the forward, who Villa bought from Belgian club Genk for £7 million in August 2012.
“I’m very happy to be here and I would like to thank the owners, Ian [Ayre, chief executive who pushed the deal through] and of course the manager for their massive effort to bring me here,”the striker told liverpoolfc.com.
“I think it was the right club for me because I had a good chat with the manager and I wanted to be part of his project.
“I know Liverpool is a big story. They’ve won league titles and the Champions League five times and of course the UEFA Cup and a lot of trophies. I know it’s a big club.
“I’m very happy to be part of the Liverpool family now and I will do everything to make them happy and work hard for them and my teammates.”
Benteke will not meet most of his new teammates until they return after Friday’s match against a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.
He is no stranger to some of them — goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi — from the Belgian national team and believes the summer recruitment has given the Reds a chance of winning silverware.
“I think there are quality players, a lot of good players with big names of course,” he added.
“I’m happy to be part of this team and will [try] to help this team reach its goals.
“I want to be the best and I want to reach the best of myself.
“I came here to win trophies. I came here to reach some great goals with the team.”
Benteke missed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with an Achilles injury, and after returning to fitness, had to wait until December to score his first Premier League goal of last season.
He hit form over the closing three months of the campaign, though, scoring 12 goals in his final 13 matches for Villa as they avoided relegation and reached the FA Cup final.